“Don’t” – Chapter 1



Following is the Introduction to the book plus Chapter 1.  This should provide a good overview of what “Don’t” is all about and what you can expect to gain from puchasing a copy of “Don’t: How using the right words will change your life”.



Introduction: Are You Positive or Negative?

  • Does your behaviour impact those around you – and can you change it?

Some years ago in the sports section of my local newspaper I read a report by Spiro Zavos which described the behaviour of a football coach during a very tense finals game. The antics of the losing coach gave a clear insight into why his team did not win and in fact why it continues to lose many close games.

In part, Zavos’ report read:

“He was at his over-emotional worst at Lancaster Park on Sunday. The eyes rolled more wildly than ever, he stalked the sideline. Not even the television cameras were safe from his flaying arms. His antics sent a damaging message to his team; that the fates are conspiring against them and they are, somehow, destined to lose. And for the second week in a row they lost a critical game. The winning coach on the other hand … sat impassively in the stands. The sign he gave to his players with this emotionless posture was that if the players wanted to win, they had to do it themselves. And they did. Just.”

Both these coaches were very experienced and knowledgeable about the game. Both had got their teams to the finals. But why did one coach’s team always lose the close games and the other team always win?

It depends on the positive or negative outlook we project which can dramatically impact those around us. Often we are not aware of the messages we are sending through our language and actions. Psychologists call this a Locus of Control (first developed by Julian Rotter, 1966).

Locus of Control refers to a person’s perception of the main causes of the events in their life.  For example do you believe that your destiny is controlled by you – “I did it myself”- or by external forces such as fate or other people – “It was their fault”, or “It was just a lucky break”? Put simply, if you believe that your behaviour is guided by your personal decisions and efforts then you are said to be more internally focused, that is you have an internal locus of control. On the other hand, if you believe that your behaviour is guided by fate, luck, or other external circumstances, then you are said to have an external locus of control.

Is one better than the other? Continue reading ““Don’t” – Chapter 1″