Chapter 9: Good Use of Words Will Bring Success
“A word used correctly has a powerful effect.
Every time we encounter a right and strong word…
it brings lightning-fast effects,
both physically and mentally.”— Mark Twain
Words are spoken…
They make us laugh and make us cry.
They can cause injury or heal.
They give us hope or make us despair.
With words we can express our most ethereal intentions
and deepest desires.
Throughout human history,
great leaders and thinkers have used the power
of words to change our emotions,
draw us in their ways,
and shape the course of our lives.
Words not only create emotions,
but also actions.
And from our actions,
we get results in life.
“The past has no power over the present moment.”— Eckhart Toll
When Patrick Henry stood before his colleagues and declared,
“I don’t know which way others choose;
but for myself,
give me freedom, or give me death!”
His words ignited the flame of the old American citizens’ struggle
to burn down the dictatorship that had oppressed them for so long.
During World War II,
when Britain’s survival was in jeopardy,
one man’s words inspired the will of the British people.
It is said that Winston Churchill had the genius
to bring the English language into battle.
His famous appeal to all British citizens
who made that hour their “sacred hour” ignited their boundless courage
and shattered Hitler’s illusions about the world,
his invincible war machine.
Most of our beliefs are formed by words
and can also be changed by words.
We can never forget Martin Luther King’s touching appeal
as he shared his vision for a country free of racism:
“I have a dream that one day this country will rise up
and live the true meaning of your beliefs…”
Many of us are well aware of the power of words
to influence the course of history.
The power that great orators used to stimulate us,
but few people realize that they can also use the power of their own words
to move their emotions, to challenge,
to be resilient. our spirit, to be brave,
to go straight to action and to seek the riches that life offers us.
“You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.”— Joyce Meyer
Knowing how to effectively choose words
to describe your life experiences can sublimate your positive emotions.
Poor choice of words can weaken and destroy us.
Right now, be aware of the power of the words you use,
as long as you choose them wisely.
By simply changing your familiar vocabulary to express your feelings,
you can instantly change the way you think, feel, and live.
“Words form the thread by which we bind our life experiences”- Aldous Huxley
As I studied the power of words,
I still doubted how something
as simple as changing words could make
such a fundamental difference in my life experience.
But as I delved into language,
I encountered unexpected events from
which I began to believe that words do indeed permeate
and transform our experience.
“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”— Milton Berle
According to Compton Encyclopedia,
English has at least 500,000 words
and there are other documents that claim English can have up to 750,000 words!
English certainly has the largest word count in the world,
followed by German,
with roughly half that of English.
The strange thing is that while the number of words available is so vast,
the number of words we often use is extremely limited.
Many linguists tell me that the vocabulary used by the average person is
between 2,000 and 10,000 words.
As a percentage, the actual number of words people use
is only 0.5% to 2% of the words in the language!
A long time ago,
I read about a study done in a prison.
According to this study,
when inmates feel distressed,
they have very few ways to express it other than by concrete actions.
Their poor vocabulary limits their emotional range,
so that when there are only minor annoyances,
they can also manifest in extreme angry behaviors.
If we want to change our lives and control our destiny,
we need to consciously choose the words we use
and need to constantly strive
to broaden the extent of our word choice.
“Life is 10% what happens to you
and 90% how you react to it.”— Charles R. Swindoll
Words you often choose
will shape your destiny
As I said above,
just as we picture things in our minds,
so we will experience it in life.
Similarly, if you have no way of visualizing something,
you cannot experience it either.
Although we can imagine things without any language,
surely if we can use words to express something,
we will add substance and dimension to it,
thanks that’s how we feel about reality.
Words are the basic tools for representing things,
and without words we would not be able to think about experience.
For example, some Native American languages do not have the word “lie”,
they have no concept of lying in their language
or in their thinking and behavior.
Without words to describe it,
there are no concepts.
Also, it is said that the Tasaday tribe in the Philippines did not have
such words as “hate” or “war”.
At this point, you can say,
“It’s all about words,
what difference does it make?”
Let me tell you that,
if you just change the words,
the experience won’t change anything.
But if changing your words cuts you off from your usual emotional pattern,
that changes everything.
One example shows the great effect of changing words.
It happened a long time ago at PIE,
a national transportation service company.
Management found that 60 percent of their transportation contracts were in error,
resulting in losses of approximately $300,000 per year.
They hired Dr. W. Edwards Deming to find out why.
He researched the issue extensively
and discovered that 56 percent of the errors were caused
by the firm’s own employees misinterpreting the contents of the containers.
Taking Dr. Deming’s advice,
the PIE board decided that it had
to find a way
to change the company’s attitude about quality and
the best way was to change the workers’ perception of themselves.
Instead of seeing themselves as workers or transporters,
they began to see themselves as professionals.
At first everyone thought it was strange:
changing the name would change anything?
Indeed, they have not changed at all.
But soon, due to the habit of using the new name.
The workers began to feel like “professionals”
and less than a month later,
PIE had cut its number of shipping mistakes
from 56 percent to less than 10 percent,
saving money for workers in company $250,000 per year.
The story above makes clear a fundamental truth:
The words we use collectively
and individually have a profound effect on our reality experience.
Use gentle language in communication
The words we use in communicating with others have a tremendous effect.
We need to know how to use comforting words
and touching words to express as accurately
as possible how we feel in communication,
whether emotional, social,
or business dealings. .
A long time ago,
whenever I had a problem with my business,
I used to call the person in charge and say,
“I’m really upset”,
or “I’m worried about this”.
Do you know the result?
My words automatically react in the listener,
even though I don’t mean it.
Often these people are looking for a way to fix the error,
to resist and so neither side has a chance to find a solution.
Since then, I have learned from experience in my words.
Even when I get really excited,
I just say, “I’m a little concerned about this.
Can you help me?”
First of all, saying that will ease your emotional stress.
This benefits both me and the listener.
Next, add the word “a little” to soften the sentence.
Thanks to that,
I make my listeners bold and open to dialogue with me.
The basic thing in any situation is that
we must be able to cut through our negative pattern,
otherwise, we may say words that we will later regret.
Many relationships are broken because of this.
In a moment of frustration,
we can say words that hurt someone else’s feelings
and prompt them to seek revenge,
or make them so hurt that they no longer want to open up to us.
So we must recognize the power of words:
it can build, it can also destroy.
“The German people are not a warlike people.
They are a brave people, which means they do not want war,
but they are not afraid of war.
They love peace but they also love freedom and honor. “— Adolf Hitler
Words have been used by demagogues of all times to slaughter and subjugate,
as Hitler transformed the frustrations of a nation into hatred for a few
and The desire to conquer the land persuaded the German people to go to war.
To a lesser extent,
we can find modern history replete with examples
of the subtle use of words to change the face of experience.
During the Gulf War,
the military jargon was unimaginably complex,
but they served to soften the image of the monstrous devastation the war caused.
“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.”— Michael Jordan
During the Reagan administration,
the MX missile was renamed the “Guardian of the Peace”.
The Eisenhower administration has always referred
to the Korean War as “surveillance action”.
We need to be very precise in the words we use,
because they are meaningful not only to us but to others as well.
Let’s know we choose our words carefully
because it has a profound effect on our lives.
Beware of labels that limit your experience.
As I mentioned in chapter one,
I had the opportunity to work with a boy who was once labeled as “learning disabled”,
but was later discovered to be a genius!
Can you imagine how a change in words
has radically changed the boy’s conception of himself
and how much the boy today has unleashed his talents?
We have to be very careful about accepting stickers on others,
because when we put a label on something,
we create a corresponding emotion.
This is most evident in the field of pathology.
All of my research in psychiatry reinforces the idea
that the words we use have very powerful biochemical effects.
In an interview with Norman Cousins,
he told me about the work he has done over the past 12 years with over 2,000 patients.
Time and time again, he found that the moment a patient was diagnosed – that is,
the moment they were labeled for their symptoms,
their illness immediately worsened.
“If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.”— John C. Maxwell
Labels such as “cancer”, “atherosclerosis”,
“heart attack” can panic patients leading to frustration
and mental breakdown
and thus harm the body’s immune system ability .
Conversely, studies have also demonstrated
that if patients are freed from mental breakdown by certain labels,
their immune system automatically kicks in.
“Words can make people sick;
words can kill people.”
Cousins told me so. ”
So wise doctors are often very cautious
when informing patients’ medical conditions.”
Recently, at a Fateful Dating course,
we witnessed an obvious case of the power of words
to instantly change a person’s state of mind.
“If we’re growing,
we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.”— John C. Maxwell
A woman attending the course had just returned from dinner,
her face beaming.
She told us that, just before dinner,
she was in such a sad mood that she wanted
to cry and that she left the room in that mood.
She says: “My mind was filled with all sorts of things.
I thought I was going to cry.
I thought I was going to have a breakdown.
But then I said to myself,
I’m going up!
This statement made me laugh,
and then I thought to myself,
“no – I’m breaking through!”
Only one word changed,
but knowing what it meant,
she changed her mood and changed her mind.
Get your thoughts on that experience.
Now it’s your turn try your luck.
Notice the words you use often,
and replace them with words that empower you,
raising or lowering the intensity of your emotions as appropriate.
Get started today.
Let’s kick off this productive one.
Write down your words,
be determined and persevere to the end,
and you will see the power of this simple tool!