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Mar 24, 2019 17:12:21

One of the most dangerous words in the English language

by @brandonwilson PATRON | 201 words | 412🔥 | 412💌

Brandon Wilson

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The word: maybe

The problem with the word "maybe" is that it is non-committal. People like to use the word "maybe" because it leaves open the possibility. It's nice to have more options rather than fewer options. 

"Hey, you want to go to that concert next month?"

"You want to grab a bite to eat next weekend?"

"Are you interested in buying some Girl Scout cookies?"

"Maybe" seems like a great answer to questions like these. These are rather harmless questions, and whether you commit to any of them is not a big deal. But what about more important questions?

"Are you interested in going to that entrepreneur seminar?"

"Are you going to apply for that new job?"

"Are you going to work out this week?"

"Are you going to schedule that doctor visit?"

"Maybe" is a terrible answer for the questions that matter. It's a copout. For the questions that you ask yourself, for the questions that matter, do not use maybe. Commit to a definitive answer and follow through on your commitments. That doesn't mean the answer is always yes. Sometimes the answer is no. Sometimes the answer is not right now. Just don't let the answer be maybe. 

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    @brandonwilson In Arabic, our word is "inshallah", which means "if God wills." This can be used in two ways:

    1) I will wait for God to do something about it

    2) I will do my best, unless God has other plans

    Sometimes when somebody says "inshallah" they really mean they're not going to lift a finger to get that thing done. And it can be a passive attitude that masquerades as a pious one.

    Haider Al-Mosawi avatar Haider Al-Mosawi | Mar 26, 2019 20:12:02
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      @haideralmosawi Interesting observation!

      Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | Mar 26, 2019 10:19:51
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    @brandonwilson that is interesting indeed!
    in a way i imagine that the final effects of "maybe" and "I don't know" are the same, and yet "maybe" seems more deluding, there is like a vague promise thete, while "I don't know" seems more vulnerable, more of an "invitation" for further, maybe uncomfortable, questioning... less "pressuretight"...

    Lucjah avatar Lucjah | Mar 25, 2019 07:12:19
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      @brandonwilson @lucjah oh yeah. Nothing kills a relationship like "i don't know". Thanks Brandon for the piece. No one should get comfortable using indecisive answers to lots of questions.

      Seun Oyebode avatar Seun Oyebode | Mar 25, 2019 09:13:55
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      @brandonwilson @seunoyebode I was actually trying to advocate using the "I don't know"s. Sometimes I simply DO not know, and even others may start asking "whys" or try to pressurise for a declaration, I think it is more genuine than the vague "promise" of "maybe"

      Lucjah avatar Lucjah | Mar 25, 2019 09:29:37
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      @lucjah "I don't know" is okay because it could be a declaration of truth. Sometimes we have blind spots because we don't know what we don't know, and it's okay to admit that. Then again, if people substitute "I don't know" for "maybe" it is the same wishy washy result.

      Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | Mar 25, 2019 05:47:06
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      @brandonwilson as many other things, it depends on intention I suppose...
      There is "I don't know..." and "I don't know..." :D

      Lucjah avatar Lucjah | Mar 27, 2019 16:48:46
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    @brandonwilson - Nice piece Brandon. I think you will like this piece that matches what you are saying here:


    Keni avatar Keni | Mar 24, 2019 23:33:41
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      @keni Love it! Although I'm not sure that philosophy applies to every decision. For me deciding to exercise is never a "hell yeah" so by that standard I'd never work out.

      Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | Mar 25, 2019 07:19:15
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