Language shapes our behavior and each word we use is imbued with
multitudes of potential meaning. The right words spoken in the right way
can bring us love, money, and respect, while the wrong words-even the
right words spoken in the wrong way-can lead a country to war. We must
carefully orchestrate our speech if we want to achieve our goals and bing
dreams to fruition. (Andrew Newberg, Words Can Change Your Brain)
The words we think and words we speak matter! One word or one short phrase does make a huge difference. Winston Churchill spoke about “Our darkest hour,” Martin Luther King talked about a “Dream” and Abraham Lincoln used “Four score and seven years ago.” Short but memorable. Words do matter!
The English Language (according to Compton’s Encyclopedia) has over 500,000 words. Yet the average American’s vocabulary consists of 2000 words and the number of words we use regularly averages 200-300 words! Compare that to John Milton who used 17,000 words or William Shakespeare who used 24,000 words in his writings.
Most of us are challenged not by the size of our vocabulary but by the words we choose to use. We tend to use the same words over and over again. These words will impact us emotionally and the way we communicate with other people.
Think about our emotions. Do we use negative words to think about ourselves? Or do we use positive words to think about us? We should also think about the words we use with our coworkers, clients, and potential customers. I well remember my Father repeatedly telling me “Mark always think twice before you speak once.” I would like to say I always have done this but I have not. If I had I could have saved myself from countless awkward moments and arguments.
Tony Robbins talks about a “Transformational Vocabulary.” It refers to the words we use to think about ourselves. We should all ponder which words we use most often. I have found these will greatly impact the way I feel me. The can be positive or negative. We can allow the negative others say about us to impact the way we feel or we can choose to think about ourselves in a positive, realistic way. It will shape us and the people we are around most often.
We all have so many words to choose from, Let’s adopt some new words and start feeling better about ourselves and others! Our words really do matter.