“Can’t Never Did Anything.”

Posted on 28. Feb, 2010 by in The Goo Blog

When I was growing up, anytime I told my Dad that I can’t do something, he would reply, “can’t never did anything.”  And as annoying as that was to hear I knew he was right.

Think about it.  Name one thing that has ever been attributed to “can’t.”

The Wright brothers had a bicycle shop.  Why were they the first ones who succeeded in developing motorized flight?  It certainly was not because they told themselves we can’t.  They did not ask why are we qualified to pursue this?  They just asked how to do it and kept going until they found the answer.

It is said that Thomas Edison failed over 1,000 times before he discovered the incandescent light bulb.  He had over 1,000 opportunities to say “I can’t” but he didn’t because “can’t never did anything.”

“If we all did the things we are capable of doing

we would literally astound ourselves.”

- Thomas Edison

For a long time, I felt a desire to share my work with people all over the world and decided Internet radio was how I would do it.  So today I am launching a talk radio show and my primary qualification is I can talk.

I don’t know how to produce or broadcast on the radio.  I don’t understand the technology behind sending my voice out across the airwaves (whatever those are) and Internet to people all over the world.

What I do have is great expertise in coming up with an extensive list of objections to squash any reasons I had for considering starting a radio show in the first place.  In the past, these objections invariably convinced me to stay where I was.

“ Nothing will ever be attempted

if all possible objections must be first overcome.”

- Jules Lederer

Whenever I would get frustrated and think I was crazy for pursuing this dream I would hear my Father’s voice say, “can’t never did anything.”  It reminded me that I can either argue for my limitations or fight for my dreams.  I chose the dream.

So what is your idea?  Not the safe idea you know you can accomplish, but the one that scares you and eats at you.  There is no wrong answer.  In the words of Charles du Bois,

“The important thing is this:

To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we can become.”

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5 Responses to ““Can’t Never Did Anything.””

  1. squirrel 23 June 2012 at 8:44 am #

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  2. Corinne 25 January 2014 at 5:03 pm #

    My father said the same thing and because of those words I taught classes in a college on. Restive writing at 70 without. Degree and wrote three books 2 mysteries and a poetry book. Now I am pushing 81 and when. Young person recently asked me why I did these things, my answer was ” Because I can” that young person didn’t’. Know. What to say. After a few minutes I said , Never forget
    That age or saying can’t let you follow your dreams. Their is nothing but your own doubt that can defeat you”. Love your Attitude and thinki you father would be proud for doing this and making your dream to evoke you reality

  3. Ken Bechtel 26 January 2014 at 9:48 am #

    Thank you Corinne. Your father would be proud of you too for all you have accomplished. I’m looking forward to hearing what is next for you.

  4. Rick 3 July 2015 at 7:17 am #

    I grew up hearing the words “Can’t never did anything”. I have often caught myself saying the same to my children. This is a very well written article thank you for sharing.

  5. Jon 22 April 2016 at 11:00 am #

    I love that saying.
    My grandpa used to tell it to me when I was a child.
    He was one of the first aerial crop dusters in the midwest because he could be.

    I think he heard Ford’s famous quote and got the idea from that.

    “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”
    ― Henry Ford