The word is thrown around by sensationalists everywhere, from politicians to motivational speakers to guys hawking counter top toaster ovens on late night TV.
There are revolutionary diets, revolutionary exercise programs, revolutions in skin care, sexual performance, learning foreign languages, buying and selling real estate, playing the lottery and winning blackjack in Las Vegas.
The misapplication of the word has gotten so bad that it strikes me as more revolting than revolutionary.
I understand why people sensationalize things – they’re looking for attention, better sales, more followers, etc. That doesn’t change the fact that overstating things with tired words actually tends to water down the message you’re trying to impart.
If you tell people you’re leading a revolution or you have a revolutionary product, they’re likely to immediately paint a mental picture of some late night snake oil salesman trying to separate them from their credit card number – and they’ll tune you out.
Want to avoid losing their attention? Try this approach:
“Hi. I’m MP, and I’m revolting.”
“Wait, what?” they ask themselves as their brain does a double take. “Does he mean he’s rebelling, or is he warning me not to breathe too deeply?”
“Yes, you heard me correctly. I am revolting.”
Now you have their attention – even if it’s only because they’re not sure they heard you correctly in the first place.
If they don’t back away slowly with widened eyes, you can then explain yourself – and they might actually listen – and learn that revolting (as a verb) can be a good thing.
So – are you revolting?
I’m revolting against ‘can’t’.
Can’t is a word that keeps creative types from creating. It kills dreams, feeds apathy and prevents innovation.
Many people make it their life’s work to inform others what they can’t accomplish. They revel in taking the wind out of other people’s sails, if only to make themselves feel larger by comparison.
“You can’t do that – you haven’t been trained.”
“You can’t – you don’t have the education.”
“You can’t – you’ll never make any money.”
Why, thank you, Captain Buzzkill.
Sometimes can’t comes from within, and it’s just as deflating.
“I can’t – I’m too busy.”
“I can’t – I’m too inexperienced.”
“I can’t – I’m too old.”
‘Can’t’ – much like ‘revolutionary’, is a word that suffers from misuse. ‘Can’t’ in many cases actually means ‘won’t,’ ‘don’t want to’ or ‘I doubt you’– in which case, it too, becomes revolting.
We need to remember that we can do just about anything we set our minds to, regardless of how often our inner voices join the naysayers in shouting “CAN’T!”
We just need to determine that when we’re told that we can’t, we’ll respond with “we will” – and then go ahead and do it.
If you’re a creative type who wants to pursue your dream in spite of a chorus of ‘can’t,’ I invite you to join me.
I’ll be over here, at my laptop, revolting.