We underestimate the power of conjunctions in our life. Conjunctions are small words, so we ignore their importance. Even the word conjunction gets lost amongst the verbs and nouns of life. But conjunctions are the difference between success and failure.
Consider these sentences:
If I become a nurse, I will work in a children’s hospital
When I become a nurse, I will work in a children’s hospital.
I want to ride in a hot air balloon if I survive this surgery.
I want to ride in a hot air balloon when I survive this surgery.
If my book gets published, it can change lives.
When my book gets published, it can change lives.
When is the way I started for my high school varsity basketball team three years after I was cut from the freshman team.
The day I saw my name was not on the final team list, I made a decision: I am going to start for the varsity team my senior year.
I went to the coach and asked him, “What are three things I need to work on to be a starter on varsity by my senior year?” He said interior footwork, quick jumping, and a mid-range baseline jump shot.
I spent hours daily for the next year working on these three things. The whole time, I heard the sound of the home crowd when my name was announced as the starting center. It motivated me to take more shots, jump more times, lift more weights.
My sophomore year, I was a benchwarmer for the junior varsity. The next year, I moved up in the world—I warmed the bench for varsity. During these years, I continued to work on footwork, jumping, and that baseline jump shot.
Senior year summer league comes, and coach announces the starters. I am the starting center for summer league because of my baseline midrange jump shot. I feel like I am living a dream, but it’s only the summer league. I worry I will lose my spot once the real season starts, so I go to coach the night before our home opener. “Am I still the starting center, Coach?”
Chris, you’ve earned it. Your second jump for rebounds is the best we’ve got. Your baseline jumper is nails. Your footwork for defense is good. Who else would I start?
All because I shifted my conjunctions and planned for success.
If focuses on doubt, when focuses on solutions.
If assumes failure, when assumes success.
If strangles creativity, when looks for the best way to achieve its goal.
If is theoretical, when is grounded in reality.
If will probably never happen, when is just a matter of time.
If hopes for a better future, when plans and executes toward that future.
When frees us from fear of failure, allowing us to focus on how to accomplish our goal.