In 2006, I was contacted by Real Simple magazine for a piece they were doing titled: “What’s your favorite piece of advice from your mother?” I shared an important house rule I grew up with. The following is what was published.

“Can’t is a four-letter word. I will never forget this advice, and I live by it every day. In our house, my two older brothers and I were not allowed to use the C-word, because my mom always taught us that we could do anything we put our minds to. “Can’t” was a way of giving up, which was not acceptable. She encouraged us to stay positive and believe in ourselves.”

I didn’t have kids when I wrote this, but I was sure to share this advice with many friends who were starting their families. It was such a strong foundation to grow up on and still sticks with me today. Fast forward: I now have two young daughters who I have the privilege of passing this rule on to.

See the thing is, my mom is gone. She passed away when I was 15 years old from the other “C word” we don’t like to talk about. Breast cancer took her away at the young age of 45. I am now 45 and my daughters are 6 and 10. My life has been spent with the belief that I CAN do anything, I WILL do anything and NOTHING will stop me from reaching the goals I set for myself. My mom taught me that we can do anything we put our minds to because it is a choice you make. Sometimes we are not able to do certain things…maybe it’s because we are not strong enough or simply because we don’t have the knowledge to complete the task. Regardless of why we are not able, there is always a way to figure things out when you believe in yourself. If you say I CAN and never allow yourself to believe in anything but that, you will succeed.

Attitude is everything and my mom taught me that from day 1.  So here’s a tip: lead with a positive attitude. It can change the course of your life for the better. I know it has for me. Thanks, mom. I love you!