The Difference Between "I Can't" And "I Don't"
A recently published study confirms that the way in which you frame a refusal can help determine how successful you'll be with your personal goals.
Kecia Lynn has worked as a technical writer, editor, software developer, arts administrator, summer camp director, and television host. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is currently living in Iowa City and working on her first novel.
What's the Latest Development?
A study recently published in Journal of Consumer Research describes experiments in which test subjects who wanted to improve their personal health habits were asked to use one of two phrases when presented with an unhealthy option such as a chocolate bar or an opportunity to miss a workout. Those who used the phrase "I don't" before refusing the temptation ("I don't eat that chocolate bar") chose the healthier alternative far more often than those who used the phrase "I can't" ("I can't eat that chocolate bar").
What's the Big Idea?
It's common knowledge that how we talk to ourselves can impact our lives in many ways, and the differences in that impact can be measured literally to the word. Writer Oliver Burkeman says, "The 'can't' framing implies an external restraint, which feels disempowering (even if you imposed the restraint on yourself)....To say that you 'don't' do something, by contrast, suggests autonomy, as well as long-term commitment." He adds, "According to cliché, learning to say 'no' is the key to seizing control of life. But how you say no matters, too."
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Long hidden under trees, it's utterly massive
Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.
- Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
- As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
- If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
- Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
- By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
Christmas has many pagan and secular traditions that early Christians incorporated into this new holiday.
- Christmas was heavily influenced by the Roman festival of Saturnalia.
- The historical Jesus was not born on December 25th as many contemporary Christians believe.
- Many staple Christmas traditions predated the festival and were tied into ancient pagan worship of the sun and related directly to the winter solstice.
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