The Power of "Yet"


I've had the great delight to spend some time with LA based jazz composer Larry Karush. Larry is a deep thinker, passionate in his music and extraordinary in his abilities. He said something quite remarkable the other night.

"I compose songs that I can't yet physically play," he quietly remarked. Imagine that. He doesn't write what he can play. He writes what he can't play. Then he figures out how to perform with his hands what he first envisioned in his mind. In some ways this is the role of the see a world not yet possible, and then figure out how to do it.

In my own coaching work, one word can help move a client into a more optimistic mindset. It's the word "Yet." Put "yet" at the end of any statement and it immediately turns a negative point of view into one of hopefulness, of something more.

"I don't speak Spanish." "I don't speak Spanish yet."

"I can't run a marathon." "I can't run a marathon yet."

"I'm not happy in my life." "I'm not happy in my life yet."

"Yet" is the language of possibility. It directs the mind towards a future fulfillment when we are stuck in the limiting present. Impossible things happen all the time, but to do so demands a more active approach in the way we think. It requires, as Larry Karush exemplified, a belief in one's ability to figure it out. What can then follow is a new and never before heard composition.