Don’t Tell Me You Can’t

Maybe I’m young and naïve, but my biggest pet peeve is when people tell me they can’t do something. Not in the sense of “hey, I can’t hang out, I have work”, that’s a pretty reasonable reason not to do something. What irritates me is when friends tell me about a dream, then follow it up with career/money/time limitation (see also: bullshit excuses).

It’s frustrating; a lot of the people I talk to don’t understand the difference between ‘Cant’ and ‘Wont’. Without a change in outlook, people can waste their entire lives believing that everything going on around them is not malleable.


Example 1: Being able to travel is not something you can’t afford working 9-5 at an entry-level job. You just won’t make the (sometimes drastic) changes to your life that will allow you to save for a month or three, backpacking South America.

Example 2: You might want to find more time for photography, but tell yourself that you can’t because you’re too busy with, work, family, and fitness. The issue isn’t the time you have; you just won’t look at your schedule and cut out the things that are less of a priority than your passions.


Can’t is only a mindset. It corresponds with where your values lie. Do you value staying up all night partying, saving for a new car, or buying flights to far off destinations? None of those are poor choices, the point is that there’s only so much we can do with our time: it’s a finite resource. What you chose to do with it reflects what you value.

I grew up stubborn; if I decided I wanted something I would make the necessary sacrifices to have it. If I didn’t achieve goals, I put a lot of the onus on myself for not working hard enough for it. The difference between Can’t and Won’t was the amount of work I was willing to put forward to reach my goal.

It’s perfectly OK to not want to change your lifestyle to pursue things: if you don’t want it enough you won’t. Just don’t tell me that you can’t.

But hey, maybe there are things you can and can’t do- and I’m just young and naïve.


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