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Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

I was recently pondering the word “almost.”

We jokingly say “Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.” But, the word is actually a double-edged sword. One edge can harm us, while the other can cut a clear path to our goals.

If a mother of three says with regret, “I almost finished college before getting married and having kids” that doesn’t have the same empowering meaning as a 21-year-old eager young lady saying, “I’m almost done with college.” In fact, it has quite the opposite meaning and effect. We can use the word “almost” to mean that we fell short of a goal, or we can use it to mean that we are close to finishing a current project.

As a person interested in self-improvement, you can certainly appreciate the beauty of releasing the past. As an intelligent person, you understand that the way you talk about your possibilities determines your path. I suggest that you let go of the “almost” past that you have been clinging to, whatever it may be. Whatever you “almost” did, you, in fact, did NOT do. How does that feel? It should feel very honest and liberating. It should feel like closure. Or, perhaps it feels like a challenge.

If you want to accomplish that goal, start saying that you have almost completed it and get to work! Otherwise let it go. Why would you want to continue to beat yourself up over it? And nobody really wants to hear about what someone almost did anyway. I know two professors who almost won Nobel Peace Prizes. They tell everyone! But, there is no prize for almost. It’s as if they have created a new prize, the “Almost Nobel Peace Prize.” I also know several people who almost broke world records, but none of them have DONE it!

Where are their names recorded? Nowhere! In each of these cases, these people are clinging to something, which does not exist. They are clinging to the idea that their past was not quite good enough, but they wish it was. How disempowering! Almost does NOT EXIST, so let it go.

Now, let’s examine the powerful use of this word, the other edge of the sword. If you are actually currently working on achieving a goal, you should say that you are almost there. “But, I thought you just said that almost doesn’t exist!” You might say. True, I did say that.

And it doesn’t exist. But your subconscious mind doesn’t understand this. Your subconscious simply takes in what it hears and acts on it.

It is very similar to a computer. When you use “almost” to refer to the future, rather than causing frustration as in the case of the past tense, it acts as a link between where you are now and an event in the future that has not yet occurred. The future does not exist. It is simply a concept. Think of “almost,” when used in this sense, as your faith in the future. You are reassuring your subconscious mind that, although it has not happened yet, it will, soon. So, you program yourself to move forward with confidence and anticipation of success. And when we move forward in this manner, all sorts of wonderful things happen to us because people respect our leadership, goals, and drive. Others become allies in our goal-reaching process.

‘Almost’ can also relax us about the future. If a plane has almost landed safely, it has NOT actually landed safely. In fact, it may NOT land safely. But, when I see the ground getting closer and hear the landing gear, I say to myself, “We’ve almost landed safely. And in a moment, we will have a perfect landing.” This immediately creates a picture in my mind of us landing safely and relaxes me. It reassures me that we will land safely. I have no evidence about the success of that particular flight. I don’t have a crystal ball. All I have is faith. But the subconscious mind is wired to accept faith as evidence. Here are some other empowering examples of the word almost:

“I’ve almost completed medical school.”

“I’m almost a black belt in Karate.”

“I’m almost at my ideal weight.”

Take charge of your life! Live it on YOUR terms, refuse to be at the mercy of others. Think your own thoughts. BE POWERFUL! Stop simply singing along. Instead, live an intelligent life that moves you toward your goals.

Keep moving forward!

Dr. Steve

26 thoughts on “Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

  1. Hi Steve, I’d put the word “nearly” in the same bracket.

  2. Thank you.

  3. Ohh so lovely… I got some pics from you weeks ago to my email ….but i have not seen this one when you have been little…cute

    1. I agree with you …it is so true

  4. Faith accepted as evidence! So profoundly true- not only in religious sense, but always with hint of that in life-important events

  5. Dr.Steve,
    Grateful for the text talking about the word “almost” what you say it is a two-gumes. For me she has an edge only.
    I rarely use “almost”. There is always an explanation for the non-event of a fact after this word.
    Almost graduated from college, or almost married, or almost died ……

    Regarding the photo of the “fisherman” and the little fish, very pretty boy ….. rsrsrsrs ….

    A question and you “almost” fried goldfish this?
    Fried or not fried, or dropped the goldfish in the water again?

    Rsrsrsrsrsrsrs ……….

  6. I believe the word ‘almost ‘ has it’s place at times. For instance I recently ‘almost made it to some Webinars recently, but my computer simply wouldn’t work…I tried everything I could to let people know my computer broke down, but I had no way to reach anyone to let them know I “almost” made it. Because I missed it I had a lot of “friends” mad at me.

  7. I refuse to accept ALMOST as the conclusion. Just keep barreling forward until you are consumed with FULLY, being the conclusion.

  8. Intelligence does not guarantee knowing everything or anything. The power of positive thinking, the law of allowing etc is learned, taught or through some challenge that we are presented with in our life comes to us & through us as we heal & deal with the challenge or NOT if we are too afraid to grow in happiness. It takes courage & perseverance to make a happier life for ourself. Live life to the fullest grow in happiness. MaryAnne Bennett

  9. There are words that we use on a daily basis that have very little to do with our individual perspective of reality. “Almost”, “Nearly”, “close” and “Try” just to name four. To understand these words and the context that they are associated with is of the utmost importance when injecting these into the conversation. I trust that you are well intended with this and therefore understand the essence of the content to be true.

  10. You are an inspiration to us all.Your amazing smile , is so infectious !!Just look at the perfect smile and satisfaction .Thank you for sharing this photo and valuable message with all of us.Happy holidays and Merry Christmas to share you Dr. Steve.

  11. Hi Dr Steve. I’m so glad to have first found you on Youtube which in turn led me to this wonderful blog.

    I’m certainly going to make use (or not) of the “almost” and look forward DEFINITELY to your future posts.

    Best wishes from Switzerland.

  12. I like when you relate with your readers on a human level. I see your accomplishments and can project accomplishment into my own journey. Thank you.

  13. I’ve known you for more than 5 months, not as the great doctor for an intimate friend. When I discovered who you really are, I started reading some of your writings. I also am trying to practice your teaching. Thank you for accidentally discovering your contribution to social growth.

  14. Even the fish and almost in hand, but not to say and in the hand.

  15. Almost is a word that means ; I’m doing but I will never finish . I have a friend who wanted to date but his unconscious wanted to stay single. As he knew someone he kept saying for months ; I’m about dating. Conclusion : the supposed dating get tired and ended the relationship . He get sad but kept saying ; I was ALMOST dating … He’s in the ” almost” for more than 10 years and continues alone. If we are “almost” there we will be never there.

  16. Yes Dr steve I’ve said this to…wise words and I’m taking more of them…thankyou…

  17. Thank you Dr Steve. The article is very powerful.

  18. Thank you, Steve, for these reflections. I agree :”almost” doesn’t count. But sometimes the word “almost” works wonders. When the goal is still far, but already it seems that there is no strength to continue, and already want to quit and give up. If at this time there there is a person whom you trust and who says that you “almost” reached the goal, left a little bit, then opens a second wind, have discipline, enthusiasm, and all turns out

  19. Very true,,,you are too smart for your own good,,,we are the same in almost every way,,,kisses and hugs

  20. I ‘almost’ skipped to click on the link to see this … I DID not, that gets me here to learn something new today.

    The article precisely show how powerful the word is and thank you for sharing how to use it with the examples.

    I’m almost there!

    Thanks Dr Jones!

  21. Dr Steve, suas palavras são admiráveis e até compreensivas.. estimulas às pessoas refletirem mesmo no “quase” – palavra que não completa em nenhum sentido; e um dos principais ao qual eu vou me referir é acerca da salvação da alma pela fé em Cristo Jesus. Não existe o termo: eu sou quase salvo (crente). Ou você aceitou e recebeu Jesus e é salvo, ou não é salvo.
    Outro: Uma pessoa expressa: Eu gosto de uma pessoa…não é amor, mas é quase… Não! Não existe essa forma de amar; você ama ou não.

    Eu, quando falo que quero ajudar e vou ajudar a alguém, vou até às ultimas consequência e a ajudo mesmo… não quase a ajudei; porem dou tudo de mim e o “QUASE” não irá existir.

    Para concluir: Nunca pensemos em mentir (enganar) ou quase, decepcionarmos alguém, ou quase. A palavra de todos deveria ser: SIM SIM e NÃO NÃO.

    Deus te abençoa e te fará prosperar em todos os teus caminhos., basta.elo com SENHOR.

  22. Hello Dr. Steve G. Jones, its really great pleasure today morning and it’s Sunday. Once again your shared of intuition I can imagine giving me a reward tto myself personally. In such, you are a great motivator and thanking you for that reason.. Have great wonderful day, God blessed you as always.

  23. I enjoyed reading the topic here . For me that the word we usually used ” ALMOST ” is giving me a certain amount of time to be done to accomplished in reality depending on the situation you are up to could be at work multitasking or could be personal satisfactions. Thanks Dr. Steve of sharing your knowledge and wisdom to all of us.


  25. Perfect Dr. Steve. You are right. Thank you.

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