A Stanford professor says eliminating 2 phrases from your vocabulary can make you more successful

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The way you speak not only affects how others perceive you; it also has the potential to shape your behavior.

Swapping one word for another could make all the difference in how you approach your goals.

That's according to Bernard Roth, a professor of engineering at Stanford and the academic director of Stanford's Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, the d.school.

In his new book, "The Achievement Habit," Roth suggests several linguistic tweaks that can make you more successful. Here are two of the easiest:

1. Swap 'but' for 'and'

You might be tempted to say, "I want to go to the movies, but I have work to do."

Instead, Roth suggests saying, "I want to go to the movies, and I have work to do."

He writes: "When you use the word but, you create a conflict (and sometimes a reason) for yourself that does not really exist." In other words, it's possible to go to the movies as well as do your work — you just need to find a solution.

Meanwhile, when you use the word and, "your brain gets to consider how it can deal with both parts of the sentence," Roth writes. Maybe you'll see a shorter movie; maybe you'll delegate some of your work.

2. Swap 'have to' for 'want to'

Roth recommends a simple exercise: The next few times you say "I have to" in your mind, change have to want.

"This exercise is very effective in getting people to realize that what they do in their lives — even the things they find unpleasant — are in fact what they have chosen," he says.

For example, one of Roth's students felt he had to take the math courses required for his graduate program, even though he hated them. At some point after completing the exercise, he realized that he really did want to take the classes because the benefit of completing the requirement outweighed the discomfort of sitting through classes he didn't enjoy.

Both of these tweaks are based on a key component of a problem-solving strategy called "design thinking." When you employ this strategy, you try to challenge your automatic thinking and see things as they really are.

RELATED: 5 tips to help land your first job after graduation

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5 tips to help you land your first job after graduation

Take advantage of your college career center
Most universities offer career coaching from trained professionals who specialize in development and advancement. Whether or not you have an idea of your career plans post-college, it can be beneficial to take a few hours out of your day and set up an appointment with one of the counselors. Many times, these professionals can review and help you tailor your resumé and cover letter. To top it off, because of their experience and networks in various industries, counselors have the potential to connect you with hiring managers.

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Begin creating and using your network 
One of the most important aspects to finding a job is taking advantage of your professional and personal network. Your connections can vary from your family members and friends to your professors and alumni. If you feel as if you're lacking a valuable network, however, business association events and gatherings are the best way to gain important contacts.

Photo credit: Getty

Always follow up  
With the advancement of modern technology, most job applications are done online. Because of this new process, it oftentimes makes it harder to find the person of contact to follow up with. However, you shouldn't let that initial obstacle prevent you from following up. If you can't find the name of the hiring manager directly reviewing your application, use LinkedIn to do a search of the next best person to reach out to. Many potential employees miss out on interviews by not being proactive and sending follow up emails.
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And when you experiment with different language, you may realize that a problem isn't as unsolvable as it seems and that you have more control over your life than you previously believed.

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