From “Too” to “To”


This might be the first time a blog title has been comprised completely of prepositions and adverbs. (That opening is my English teacher past making an appearance.) The idea for this post came from a blog by Steve Keating titled “Are You Too?” A former administrative colleague shared it with me this morning, and it really sparked some reflection. The blog noted that when people can’t or won’t do something, the word “too” is often in their reason.


At this time of year for students, teachers, parents, and all school employees, lots of “toos” might crop up: too tired, too busy, too frazzled, too scattered, too discouraged, too overwhelmed. We can understand and acknowledge the hectic seasons of our lives but hopefully still enjoy the challenges and busyness as they occur. And, yes, we can breathe a sigh of relief when the ceremonies, parties, performances, sports seasons, classes, tests, evaluations, grading, mowing, and everything else are done for a time and have gone well. Through it all we need to be watchful of our attitudes and ensure that momentary feelings don’t become patterns of thinking. We can’t let, “I’m too tired,” or “I’m too busy,” become, in effect, “I’m too selfish,” or “I’m too lazy.” We can’t let, “I’m too stressed,” at the moment become, “I’m too defeatist,” in our daily lives.


We need to be clear about our priorities and determined to live them out. Instead of the tyranny of “too,” all of those iterations I just mentioned, we need to be resolute in saying, “I am going to . . .” Rather than making an excuse for inaction, we can make a commitment to positive action. Here are a few examples; maybe one or more will resonate with you:


I am going to . . .

  • Express appreciation for a job well done
  • Be thankful for the many great people and opportunities in my life
  • Reach out to an old friend this week
  • Rekindle a relationship that needs attention
  • Work hard at work worth doing (credit to Teddy Roosevelt)
  • Add value to any group I am part of (credit to John Maxwell)
  • Make deposits in emotional bank accounts (credit to Stephen Covey)
  • Be kind anyway (credit to Mother Teresa)
  • Be all I can be (credit to U.S. Army)
  • Make time for others
  • Write a note, make a call, or visit someone who needs it


Obviously that is not an exhaustive or very original list, but there are some good starting points there.


I believe words matter and that there is great power in what we say. What we say is a reflection of what we think. What we think guides what we do. What we do, consistently, over time, is who we are. Will you commit with me to move from “too” to “to”?