One of my early career experiences evolves around me telling a colleague they cannot do something.

The response I received all because I said “…you can’t…I can’t…” was very enlightening. I received some very insightful coaching after that, which became a defining moment in my career.

Today, my Swim Coach sent our team the below poem. It is beautiful and so true. It’s a little long, but take a moment to read it. I am pretty sure you CAN take a moment, if you really want to. 😉


Can’t is the worst word that’s written or spoken

Doing more harm here than slander and lies

On it is many a strong spirit broken

And with it many a good purpose dies

It springs from the lips of the thoughtless each morning

And robs us of courage we need through the day

It rings in our ears like a timely-sent warning

And laughs when we falter and fall by the way

Can’t is the father of feeble endeavor

The parent of terror and half-hearted work

It weakens the efforts of artisans clever

And makes of the toiler an indolent shirk

It poisons the soul of the man with a vision

It stifles in infancy many a plan

It greets honest toiling with open derision

And mocks at the hopes and the dreams of a man

Can’t is a word none should speak without blushing

To utter it should be a symbol of shame

Ambition and courage it daily is crushing

It blights a man’s purpose and shortens his aim

Despise it with all of your hatred of error

Refuse it the lodgment it seeks in your brain

Arm against it as a creature of terror

And all that you dream of you some day shall gain

Can’t is the word that is foe to ambition

An enemy ambushed to shatter your will

Its prey is forever the man with a mission

And bows but to courage and patience and skill

Hate it, with hatred that’s deep and undying

For once it is welcomed ’twill break any man

Whatever the goal you are seeking, keep trying

And answer this demon by saying… “I CAN”

(Poem by Edgar A. Guest, Courtesy of Mark Moore, Nadadores Masters Coach)

About ATrueU

I am a GenXer and a Vice President, Human Resources for a marketing agency in Irvine, California. I have almost 20 years of experience in talent management and I love my job. I believe my purpose - in addition to overcoming some of my personal life lessons-is to encourage personal reflection and help others to find their path and passion. Do what you love, and you will love what you do. I oversee an award winning HR, Recruiting and Training Department (2013 American Business Award Gold for "HR Department of the Year") which provides me the opportunity to work with talented, insightful and amazing people every day.

Posted on October 10, 2018, in Personal Growth. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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