§1 – The growth mindset

(Part 4 of 37 in series, Study inspired by Pakour & Art du Déplacement by V. Thibault)

“I can’t.” versus “not yet.”

Right out of the gate in the first section… hitting the ground running. This mindset is something that I already find critical. Critical in the sense that I attribute my success –– what success I can be said to have achieved –– to two things: This mindset, and sheer willpower/determination. (spoiler: the later is covered elsewhere in the book.) But I’d already made my own connection to the Stoics’ philosophy, and that’s a very apropos piece of bedrock.

aside: as this is the very beginning of this experiment, I’m going to be making this up as I go along. First bit of framework: I’m not going to quote/include any of Thibault’s book. Pull-quoting is time consuming to do well, and by the time I’m done, I’d have way more of his book “excerpted” here than I’d feel comfortable with. That means, if you really want to follow along, you simply must get a copy of the book yourself and read the original material. It’s easy, and you can thank me later.

I’m looking at this material in the context of: OK. I’ve read it. I understand, but what’s the action item? …or how do I use this as a catalyst?

Lehigh Valley Parkour has a few oddball traditions. One of them is a strong aversion to the word “can’t”. Community members will avoid saying it at all costs. The penalty for using the word is an immediate 5 pushups. Mostly, it’s an honor thing… we take the word “immediately” seriously; mid-run, in a car, in a restaurant, right now. Immediately. On the spot. Why?

Because when you change your words, you change your thinking. “I can’t get up that wall.” becomes, “I am not yet able to scale that wall.” Which is pretty weak sauce, and is still pretty negative. But, we quickly get sick of saying “not yet able”, and start getting creative… “I’d have to be able to jump higher to scale that.” …or run faster, or be stronger, or whatever.


I banned a word and I’ve flipped my thinking around.

Next up: let’s take the idea to class.


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