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“Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it has live its whole life believing it is stupid.”

Uses of the Word “Yet”

The word “yet” has three uses.  The first two are common uses.

Time Frames

One of the meanings of “yet” relates to time.

Often, “yet” describes things that will happen but have not presently happened.  For example, suppose your birthday is next month.  If someone says “happy birthday” to you right now, you could say, “It’s not my birthday yet.

“Yet” as a Conjunction

“Yet” has another meaning—it can be used to mean “but” or “however.”  Two examples of “yet” being used in this way are:

  • Steel is an ideal metal to use in cables on suspension bridges, as this alloy is incredibly strong yet flexible.
  • a lawyer interrogating a witness might say, “You claim you clearly saw the defendant at the scene of the crime, yet you admit you were not wearing your prescription eyeglasses at that time.”

”Yet” as Empowering

A third, relatively unused use of “yet” is that of empowerment.

Suppose your boss pulls you aside and tells you: “You don’t have the right skills for the project.”

Then suppose a different situation, where your boss tells you: “You don’t have the right skills for the project, yet” or “You don’t yet have the connections to make this deal happen.”

See how the word “yet” makes all the difference in the world.

The Power of “Yet”

Carol Dweck, the psychologist behind the book Mindset: The New Psychology for Success, is quoted:

“By [using the word “yet”] we give people a time perspective.  It creates the idea of learning over time. It puts the other person on that learning curve and says, “Well, maybe you’re not at the finish line, but you’re on that learning curve and let’s go further.” It’s such a growth mindset word.”

Consider the power of the word …Yet.

  • I’m not smart enough to do that… yet.
  • I don’t have enough money to buy that… yet.
  • I’m not strong enough to run that marathon…yet.

The word “yet” changes your focus entirely.  “Yet” means that you are looking for a solution, a path of some enlightenment that you are looking for a door to walk through.

Adding the word “yet” to pessimistic or doomful predictions often gets a person’s attention.  It introduces the possibility that their strong beliefs may not be entirely accurate in a negative future outcome.  At least someone else—someone with some credibility—is not ready to automatically accept their hopelessness.

The Bible

The power of the word “yet” is that it conveys a promise fulfilled.  Someone has faith in you, and what is said will be accomplished.

In 1 Samuel 3:7, we read:

Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.

Samuel was one of the greatest prophets of the Old Testament.  He anointed Saul and then David to be King of Israel.  He was God’s voice to the Israelites through one of their most difficult periods.

But he wasn’t always so great.  He had a “yet” period to wait through before God was ready to use him.

And God will always use each of us when He is ready.  God is faithful and trustworthy to fulfill each of us according to His plans.

Numbers 23:19 says:

God is not human, that he should lie,
not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
Does he promise and not fulfill?

And Psalms 46:10 says:

            He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;

Be still.  Wait.  Be ready.  The “yet” is still being fulfilled.

The power of “yet” is found in its literary uses and ability to empower people.  Including “yet” in your dreams says “your time will come,” “be patient and learn, “ and “be ready to take your turn.”

            As business leaders and entrepreneurs, be sure to include “yet” in your empowering vocabulary.  It will make a difference, just as it did for the prophet Samuel