There is power in the ampersand.
The power of the ampersand. But, what is an ampersand? Merriam-Webster defines the ampersand as “a character typically standing for the word and.” It is the beautiful character looking like this: &. A place you can use an ampersand is in the place of the word but. Give it a try! For the next day or two replace the word but with the ampersand and see what possibilities it creates in your life.
The words but, and &, are commonly called stop words. The word but stops the sentence, stops the thought, and stops possibility. It is final. Examples of how but ends things:
- I want to go for a walk, but I have to do the dishes.
- I wish I could go, but I have kids.
- I would go with you, but I have the dogs to think about.
- I love you, but this isn’t working.
- I would totally do that, but I have a mental illness.
- I tried to kill myself, but I lived.
Simply replacing the three letters, but, with the three letters, and, (or &) changes everything. It opens up possibility. Examples of how & continues a thought:
- I want to go for a walk, & I have to do the dishes.
- I wish I could go, & I have kids.
- I would go with you, & I have the dogs to think about.
- I love you, & this isn’t working.
- I would totally do that, & I have a mental illness.
- I tried to kill myself, & I lived.
This seems to be a very silly small shift in two three letter words. One would think the shift does not matter what so ever and makes absolutely no difference. It doesn’t change the length of a sentence. It doesn’t make you sound more, or less eloquent, or educated. It does make all the difference in the world in how you feel about your life and your possibilities. It creates options in your actions, and your life.
Once you start replacing the word but in your language, conversations, and life, you will begin to notice all the ways the word inhibits other peoples lives, thoughts, and actions. You will notice how once that very small word is out of their mouth, it is the end of what they think can happen. It is the stop of a conversation.
Own your power. Create options in your life. Make possibilities happen by replacing but, with the power of the ampersand.