This week Mitchell and I have been discussing words. The words we use when we talk about ourselves, when we talk to each other, and the words we use to describe situations or circumstances. More specifically, how our words affect us and each other. How our words can shape circumstances or situations and how they make something positive or negative.
This discussion started after Mitchell sent me a Tony Robbins short video about influential language (watch here), and an article about ‘The 21 Day No Complaint Experiment’ designed by author Will Bowen, who recognised that word choice determined thought choice, which subsequently determines emotions and actions. Why did he send me these? I had come home from a walk one night last week and exclaimed that ‘it (the walk) was shit, everything about it was shit shit shit’. In my defence, I had been home not even a week, and so was readjusting to life in Sydney (always a struggle) and had gone from hiking the mountains of northern England to stomping up our local main road listening to car after car race past me. So I wasn’t at my perkiest.
But it did get us talking. Everything comes down to the way we describe things. Our words have a power unlike many other things in this life. Paying attention to the words we use can cut someone down or help someone up. Our words can give us a positive attitude or send us into a negative slump. They can make our lives good and easy, or they can turn them into a daily whine.
With some exceptions of course, there is really no good or bad. Something simply ‘is what it is’. What ‘it is’ is (what we decide it to be) (what we describe it to be) through our attachment of words to it. It is how we view a situation or circumstance that makes it good or bad, a positive experience or a negative one.
The same is true of how we talk about ourselves, and each other. We can be harsh and critical or we can be nurturing and supportive.
We so often subconsciously just speak, words flowing like a flooded river that’s broken its banks, damaging everything in its wake. There is no independent quality assurance of our words. Sometimes, our words are not even our own but rather those of our ancestors.
Listen to your words. Pay close attention and think about them before you speak them. Are they great words? Or are they negative words? Are you making positive word choices? We put so much effort into making good healthy ‘lifestyle’ choices (diet, exercise, work/life balance) but very little effort or awareness into our word choice.
So listen and choose wisely!