“I Can” versus “I Do”

The thought behind this concept arises in my mind while attending a Spiritual Program arranged at our Office Premises. Program was exclusively talking about our Human Existence. Many of my colleagues were too much impress whereas some were behaving absolutely opposite than former situations. There may be their own perception, for which I completely respect them. But this thought of “I Can versus I Do” emerges while discussing with those employees who were convince with the faculty that how spiritual science plays an important role in Human Existence and also helps us to live our life in better way; But can’t work out on such spiritual practices because of their own rigid mindset and reluctance towards upcoming changes in new life though it’s good for them.

In a four days Training Program, “I Can” and “I Do” were the most frequent verbs used by my colleagues in every conversation and discussion. This brings me to write down an article about “I Can” versus “I Do” by re-collecting my experiences and coming thoughts upon it. Fortunately in a very short period I have drafted and finalized the article. This article has no intension to hurt someone feeling or attitude of any person while acting and reacting towards different situation in terms of “I Can” & “I Do”.

Below article is purely based on my thoughts and experience.

“I can” is empowering while,

 “I do” is life changing.

There is a slight yet powerful difference between these two verbs.

“I can” will change your internal reality and will make you believe that you are truly able to do it. But it won’t do it for you. It will always remain at the internal level, it won’t reach out.

On the other side, “I do” will modify your surroundings and make things happening. “I do” is the reality itself, not just an internal representation of it.

This is one of the most important, yet widely ignored confusions in the personal development field.

“I can” traps like

  • I can be a millionaire.
  • I can fulfill all relationship.
  • I can create a fantastic career.
  • I can change the world.

All those sentences are empowering, but they are not modifying anything. They are just a potential and sometimes they are a trap.

Having powerful thoughts and using powerful verbs like “I do” is certainly important because it gives you a kick start, it can motivate you, once you switch to the “I do” level.

“I do” thrills like

  • I’m becoming a millionaire.
  • I’m fulfilling all relationship.
  • I’m building a fantastic career.
  • I am changing the world, starting with myself.

Notice the difference? It’s not about the fact that you can do all those things, but about actually doing them. Notice the change in your emotions while reading this? The “I can” sentences are giving you self-confidence, clarity and perhaps some motivation boost.

But the “I do” sentences are giving you the thrills. And this is where all the fun is, at the thrill level. All the connection of joy and ultimate happiness of life is taking place at the “I do” level. All the rest – including the “I can” preparation – is just a scaffold to reach this thrill level.

From “I Can” to “I Do”

How many times you’ve been stuck at the “I can” level?

How many times you wrote powerful and motivating sentences but never actually did something?

How many times you visualized your goals, set up milestones, but didn’t move forward?

Switching from “I can” to “I do” is difficult. Here’s why:

  • “I Can” is Comfortable situation whereas, “I Do” is Riskier situation

I can keep you in the comfort zone; it won’t move you in any direction.

I do take you out of the comfort zone and pushes you to break the limits and actually do. There is always a risk of failing if you do something. But if you don’t, you won’t change anything either.

  • I Can” is nice, “I Do” is grumpy

At the “I can” level things are pinky and perfect. You see your goals, , a perfect career, a nurturing relationship. Everything is nice.

At the “I do” level things are sometimes ugly. You have to fight, to resist, to pull, to strive. Getting there means almost every time beating some obstacles. This is not always nice….

  • “I Can” makes no promises, “I Do” respects all the promises

At the “I can” level you don’t make promises, you’re just telling “ok, I’m able to do it”. You won’t commit to anything. You’re just acknowledging some facts.

At the “I do” level you have to respect your commitments. Doing things means keeping your promises. Make things happening. Stand up for your words.

  • “I Can” is easy, “I Do” is hard

Because you make no real commitments, “I can” gives you room to dream big. I can be whatever I want. It’s spectacular and easy. You’re just saying it.

Once you start keeping your promises, the big dreams must become reality. And that’s hard. It’s not always spectacular and it requires constant, difficult work.

  • “I Can” is a thought, “I Do” is an action

Think for a moment at this situation: you met the love of your life, you fell in love and now you want to move forward. “I Can” marry you is a thought, while “I Do” marry you is an action.

Now, how can you really move from “I can” to “I do”? If you read the differences above carefully, I think you already know. And, surprisingly enough, it’s not complicated. You knew it all the time.

If you really, really want to switch from “I can” to “I do” you have to get out from your comfort zone. You have to be prepared to fail. You have to make and keep promises. You have to work it out. Thinking that you can do stuff is important, but making it happen is a completely different process. And in my opinion, this is where all the fun is, at making things happen.

Thinking big is good, doing big is even better.

And, yes, the most important step to actually do something is to move away from the computer right now and start making things happen. Reading blogs, including this one, won’t help for long. It might help in the beginning, it will give you some directions, but it won’t make things happening in your place.

The real master of your life is you, not a blog.

Step out, take risks and do something with your life.

 Of course you can. Now do it!


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  32. Junaid May says:

    Well “I Can” is also positive term but i have never thought that “I Do” will take you move towards thrills of life as you said….

    But i completely agree with you that “I Can” is comfort zone and “I Do” is committment

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    1. Riddhi Patel says:

      Yeah dats the core of all the activities in Life…
      Thanx …

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