Until one day… I didn’t.

Each morning when I set foot on campus,

I told myself, “I hate college. I can’t do this anymore.”

I wanted to be in the real world doing real work,

Having real impact and earning real income.

I thought college was fake and a waste of my time

And I KNEW it was a drain on my bank account.

I tried to drop out one night in my sophomore year.

My Mother forbade it…

And I’m glad she did.

The next day, I had English class with Brother Fagan —

A Christian brother, who loved his coffee as much as words.

He introduced me to four words, a short phrase, that changed my life:


Meaning your words — ESPECIALLY the ones you speak to yourself — are effective, powerful

And, over time, they will BUILD or DESTROY you.

I repeated this phrase to myself daily…

And it raised my awareness to the words I used with myself.

There were too many “I can’t”s without ever even stopping to think of


Too much hate for myself and not enough HOW for myself.

That day, I stopped using “I can’t”

And I replaced it with “How can I”.

“I hate college. I can’t do this.”


“How can I finish college early?”

And with a firm, yet flexible plan and a f-ton of hard work,

I finished my Bachelor’s a year early,

Got the jumpstart on my career that I always wanted,

And set myself ahead in the game of life, for life.

I tell you this story so you can rewrite your own.

You know, the story you tell yourself about yourself,

The one filled with all the “I can’t”s and all the limiting beliefs?

It’s going to get in the way of your grand 2023 plans faster than you think —

I call by mid-January. That’s my experience.

So start this now:

Go light on your hate and heavy on your how.

Raise your awareness to the words you speak to yourself —

Immediately replace “I can’t”s with “How can I”s.

Your words are efficacious!


Joey Bowen