Have and Eat Your Cake


We are so accustomed to constraints that we often accept them without question. Statements containing the conjunctions but or or slip by us easily and become accepted truth. “You can have your cake or eat it.” “We want to raise capital but the markets are soft.” “On budget, on time, or high quality: pick any two.” “I want to start my own company but I don’t have the time/money/experience.” Statements like these usually stifle further exploration.

If we replace or or but with and then new possibilities and opportunities appear. The statement, “We want to raise capital and the markets are soft,” for example, invites us to creatively ask, “Well, what are all the ways can we raise capital even though the markets are soft?”

Instead of constraints, go for creative.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Patent and the Pantry cc

2 thoughts on “Have and Eat Your Cake

  1. Mike, you’re spot on about the use of ‘and’ as an empowering word.
    I sometimes find myself writing a response to something ‘and’ I have to resist using the conjunction ‘but’ though the word may well describe my fears and doubt about the matter at hand.
    The word ‘and’ came readily to mind on this occasion, it flowed onto the page. It doesn’t so easily enter into some of my more conflicted moments.

    1. Hi David,

      Using ‘and’ is one of several good tools to use in conflicted moments. I find that the real trick is to interrupt our lizard-brain reactions to perceived threats. Try using another tool before trying to use ‘and.’ Maybe the ‘This is me’ tool would work well.


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