Dirtiest 4 Letter Word - SAVVY INTRAPRENEUR

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Dirtiest 4 Letter Word

The odd thing is this 4 letter word is socially acceptable in any gathering of people. No one gives it a second thought. Very few people realize the damage this nasty word does to other people. It cripples many people. People hear this word, pass it on to other people and more people hurt themselves saying it. Many parents think nothing of saying this word to their children in every day conversation.

People miss out, on opportunities, raises, going to college, moving up the corporate ladder, starting a business, settling a dispute, forgiving a family member, meeting a new friend, taking a trip, learning something new, negotiating a better deal, just by uttering this word constantly.

When my daughter was about 3 or 4 I began asking her to do things to push her past her limits. She always felt she performed quite well, because she received a lot of encouragement for just attempting to do things most people would say 4-5-6-7-8 year old children aren't capable of doing. I would get her to do things, like asking her to take her bowl and put it in the sink. Although I knew she couldn't reach the sink, I just wanted her to try to reach anyway. Dropping the bowl was OK. After a couple of futile attempts, I picked her up so she could place the bowl in the sink. 

She still felt accomplished in feeling like she still did it herself. Another time I asked her to help me clean an imaginary dirt spot on the wall that was out of her reach. After she tried and figured out she couldn't reach, I picked her up. She cleaned the spot. She felt very satisfied with her accomplishment.

Not yet 4 1/2 years old, one day I asked her to count to 10. She hadn't been taught yet, but I thought I would really push her. She responded with the nastiest little word. I told her, if she said that "bad word" again, I would wash her mouth out with soap. I came from the bathroom, with a bar of soap to show her I meant business. I asked her again to count to 10. She said that 4 letter word again, more adamantly. I rubbed my finger across the wet bar of soap and rubbed my fingered across her lips. A soon as she licked her lips, she proceeded to cry from the awful soap taste. She ran to her mother to sooth the distaste on her lips. When I told her mother about my request, she [mother] freaked out. Mother also said the same dirty word, in referring to my daughter's limited knowledge. I was a maniac, as far as her mother was concerned.

I pulled my daughter from the safety of her mother's arms. As I visibly rubbed my finger over the soap bar, I asked my daughter to count to 10. She already knew the result of saying the bad 4 letter word. So she thought carefully. The most amazing thing happened. She turned around with her back to me and said "help me daddy". This was symbolic. She knew every time I picked her up, she always accomplished something.

That dirty word did not appear in my daughter's vocabulary again, until her second year in high school. She didn't do well in history. I asked her "what is the problem". She responded with that dirty word in a complete sentence. I proceeded to the bathroom and she changed her tune with a quick retraction and apology for using that word. So we continued with planning actions for improving her report card. She past all her subjects, including history, on the next report card. It's phenomenal how eliminating that nasty word helped her accomplish so many things over the years.
Drum roll please . . . the dirtiest 4 letter word, which should be stricken from the English dictionary, is:
I can't do it *It can't work * You can't have everything you want * It can't be done * You can't do that
We are

Who wants their mouth washed out with soap?

"No one is a failure, unless they fail to try" -unknown

"People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care
" -Zig Ziglar

Carl E. Reid, CSI - USMC 79/80 
"Deep Expertise at intersections of Business, Networking and Technology"
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  1. Great piece! Rather the little engine that could, than can (and did)!

    Chuck Codling
    Technology Simplified & Business Focused

  2. Carl, thanks, very nice.

    Sam Anson
    Business Development Executive

  3. Carl,

    Loved the article – even the OMG soap (how old-fashioned).

  4. As I have shared with my friends and associates on Facebook, this article is definitely a "must read".

  5. Great article, Carl. I haven't used soap, but now I'll think about using it. Thx, Beatrice
    PS here's some fodder for your next article?...."I'll get around to it." or "It's on my To Do list."

  6. AnonymousMay 11, 2011

    Good point. I have to change my way of thinking about approaching challenges and opportunities. I CAN do it.

  7. AnonymousMay 11, 2011

    From previous publishing of this article.
    December 20, 2005 12:23 AM

    This blog is awesome. I'm adding it to my RSS reader. keep it up. I'll be back.

  8. AnonymousMay 11, 2011

    From previous publishing of this article
    July 4, 2007 8:38 AM

    After chasing what to most seems like a dream in studying intrapreneurial management, I have recindled respect for the word "CAN".Wonderful blog.I will post more comments as Iread more of your inserts.Thanx


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