The four most dangerous words — in any language — are “I can do that.”
I can do that.
Sometimes the meaning is clear: You see an item for sale that you are interested in. You know how to make it: you have the skill, the experience, the equipment, the time and the desire. You use what you saw as an inspiration piece. You end up with your hand-made item, probably crafted better than the item at the store.
For the rest of us who are mere mortals, this is a statement of many interpretations.
I can do that. Meaning = That is too expensive. You are certainly not paying that kind of money. Get a grip. You do without it and congratulate yourself for your will power.
I can do that. Meaning = You could make it, if you wanted, but you don’t want to and you are not buying it. You do without the item and congratulate yourself for getting your priorities straight and spend your time otherwise.
I can do that. Meaning = You want to make it, you have the skill, the experience, the equipment, but not the time or desire. Your item would have been better than the store-bought item. You do without the item and revise your personal history to slant the personal choices you made that got you where you are. You congratulate yourself because It’s Not Your Fault.
I can do that. Meaning = You want to make it, you have the skill the experience, the equipment, but you haven’t seen the equipment in who-knows-how long. You might have caught a glimpse of it last time you were looking for something else in the garage/attic/junk room. You do without the item and by the time you get home, you have forgotten that you wanted to look for the equipment and you forget to congratulate yourself.
I can do that. Meaning = You want to make it, but you have no skill, no equipment and more desire than time. You drop other activities to make room for this one. You spend a small fortune on equipment. You take classes, local or online. You are surprised that after one or two attempts, your results are nothing like what you saw in the store. That item was the result of double-digit years of experience and thousands of dollars in equipment and supplies. You do without the item, but don’t realize it. You consider yourself in training for the rest of your life.
This last scenario is not such a bad place for
me you to be in. You are happy with whatever progress you are making, even if you are taking a Zen-like approach and are in the envisioning phase forever.
And if I can do that, you can, too.