Never Say Don't

Hi folks

One of the most powerful psychological approaches to reducing expenses, increasing income and investing wisely (the triangle of success HERE) is to never say "don't". 

The sheer power of the word "don't" can turn a perfectly even-keeled person into a disobedient juvenile in a nanosecond. Tell me "don't" and I immediately want to. I read "don't" and I think "why not?!". Many of of childhoods were full of "don't" moments ..... so let's not go there.

Whilst it may be utterly true  that the following statements will reduce our reckless spending, the use of the word "don't" or even the word "stop" can easily trigger the ego and have exactly the opposite desired effect - or at least it does for me. (Maybe I still am just a naughty disobedient boy!)

  •  Don't buy a morning coffee. It's a waste of money.
  •  Don't get a car loan. That's just foolish
  •  Don't buy your lunch. What a silly waste of money
  •  Don't have a credit card. You'll get yourself into trouble again.
....makes you feel just great - not.

Try this instead:

The Power Of Action Statements

Action statements never tell you to stop doing anything. Action statements do not reference the past nor cast dispersions on our character. Action statements have clear direction and have strong outcomes. Action statements do not point fingers. Most importantly, action statements give us a new thing to immerse ourselves into thus automatically replacing the love of a previously toxic fiscal habit.

The love and excitement of a brand new action replaces the affection of an unbreakable habit.

Here are some easy action statements as examples:
  •  I take my favourite Moccona Latte sachet to work every day.
  •  I carry my debit card and $20 emergency cash in my slimline wallet
  •  I pack a quality lunch of lean proteins and gourmet salad daily
  •  $365 per month goes to my car replacement account. I'm buying a new car with cash this coming December. 

See how different they sound. Feel how different the internal reaction is?

We can apply the principle of action statements to pretty much anything that can be changed and needs to be changed in our lives. The best use of this principle is on ourselves.

Take care folks and stay nice.



  1. It FEELS different when you read the negative don't's vs the positive action statements. Wise words indeed!

    1. Yes Priscilla. At the end of the day it is all about self manipulation of our feelings :-)

  2. This is quite clever Phil. I never thought of it this way.

    I'm probably guilty of using the word 'don't' too often! Maybe I'll switch to 'instead of such and such'

    Now I know why nobody listens to me ;)

    1. So am I Dave. I read back over many of my previous posts and it is full of "don't" - rather preachy and finger-waggy actually. I'm going to make a concerted effort to change my tune.

  3. Excellent advice Phil. I try to take the positive line of thought as much as I can too. Happy weekend!


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