In our current state, we’re all so immensely interconnected to the world around us – and with advancements in technology, physical connection to one another has manifested into almost entirely verbal or written contact as opposed to non-verbal communication. Whether it’s through the outsourcing of jobs (last year alone, the US outsourced approximately 2.5 million positions abroad), the high number of students pursuing jobs and degrees overseas, or simply the number of combined online users at any given moment, we’re all establishing, forging, solidifying, quantifying and manifesting relationships with peers, mentors, friends, family, a love interest, pets, etc.
The one thing that we all have left to our devices at the end of the day is language: the natural, or – if you’re rather big on the interwebz – maybe not so natural, ebb and flow of conversation, conflict and camaraderie. More than just the words you pick and the order they fall into – language refers to your intonation, and even further to the intention of every single single word you pick; it’s the pitch you use while excited, the rumble you use when agitated and the cadences you manifest when you’re swept off your feet by love. Even though words can manifest into a fairy tale of emotion, at the end of the day – they’re all we’re left with, so it helps to pay attention to your everyday vocabulary.
Between friend incidents, car accidents and a nasty bout of stomach flu – over the past few weeks, I’ve seemingly had a lot thrown in my face – that said, I’ve also been more aware of my relationship to the world around me: physically, emotionally and mentally. I’ve noticed that a lot of that relationship is dictated by something as simple as diction – or word choice. If you want to live a positive life, surround yourself with positive people, positive thoughts and positive mantras; if you’d like a negative one, well – you see where I’m headed. It’s something so simple and so basic, but when you look at the studies that’ve been done on positive thinking, emotion and word choice – they’re so telling.
“Everything in Life is Vibration”
– Albert Einstein
Through quantum physics, the vibrations of the natural world are revealed; they energetically complex as physical actions and as inherently simple as a single word. But, as experiments have proven – even words have the power to transform you. Whenever we marinate in our negativity – we run the risk of releasing destructive neurochemicals in our brain and just the utterance of the world ‘no‘ can stimulate stress hormones to be released. Back in the early 90’s, Dr Emoto performed a number of experiments on water – you know, that fundamental building block of life that we’re 60% comprised of – and the results are astounding. He was desperate to understand the physical effect that language and the environment had on the crystalline structure of water molecules once froen. What Dr. Emoto discovered is absolute astounding, yet positively predictable – the structure of molecules that were bathed in positive words were far more beautiful and symmetrical than molecules doused with darker thoughts.
“You make me sick, I will kill you” vs “Love and Appreciation”
I’ve been guilty of this myself in the past – which is partially why I’m writing this article, but the other reason I’m penning this is I also want to make a difference for my future; and if all it takes is removing a few words from my vocabulary, bring it on. So next time you’re speaking and prepared to mutter any of the following, take a personal inventory and ask yourself what you really mean; and then find a way to spin it in a more positive light!
– No / Not: Any way you spin it, ‘No’ has an absolutely negative connotation. If said with immediacy, ‘No’ can also indicate an unwillingness to consider a new way of thinking – or thinking at all. One thing I’ve done with people that have habitually said ‘No’ to me (e.g. my parents) is give them a while to think about my question / situation / idea before they even need to answer. So, if you’re preparing yourself to say ‘No’ – take a moment and ask yourself what you really mean. If you’re declining an invitation – try “Thank you, I have other plans”
– Should: Like Nike says – Just DO it! Should implies that there’s something – mentally, physically, emotionally – restraining you from wanting to do it; so if you’re not feeling into it – take a personal inventory and figure out your ‘Why’ before it’s too late. Also, for some reason ‘Should’ is usually followed by….
– But: More often than not, whatever follows the word ‘But’ never seems to go well; instead, just use ‘and’
– Can’t: You can do pretty much anything you put your mind to, so the second you tell either yourself or someone else that you ‘Can’t‘ you’re imposing limits on your own reality. Instead of saying ‘Can’t’ – say what you’re really meaning: Right now isn’t a good time – or – I’m tired, I will once I get some rest – or – Tomorrow would be better for me.
-Maybe: It’s like ‘Try’ and ‘No’ had an illegitimate child, and everyone is babysitting it. How many times have we heard someone say ‘Maybe’ and seriously wished they could stop being so indecisive and pick an option. ‘Maybe’ is doubtful and incredibly passive, instead – become an active participant in your life and start saying ‘Yes’; you never know where it could take you.
– Hope: Hope is wishful, lustful…and often fleeting. It looks towards the future in a passive – almost lackadaisical fashion instead of taking the bull by the horns and actively going out and doing something about your future.
-Problem: Let’s face facts for a second, shall we – none of us really experience daily problems. There are situations, challenges, inconveniences and unexpected issues along the roads of life but having a “problem” imposes a “problematic state of mind” that can can become a negative feedback cycle instead of actually helping you move forward. So, next time you think you have a “problem”, instead realize there’s a solution out there that can’t wait for you to discover it.
If you’re in a new location and aren’t sure which direction to go, just act boldly like you’re supposed to be there and you’ll find your way in no time. If you go into a stressful situation with a ‘Fake it Til You Make It’ attitude, you’ll notice that sooner or later – you’re making it. And if your mind is spiraling downwards, don’t tell yourself “No, I have a problem” or “Maybe I’ll try again tomorrow…” – get up, get out and get living. Just one step in a positive direction can completely alter your current trajectory.
So, tell me – are there any other words we should remove from our everyday lexicon?
“We are what we pretend to be,
so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
― Kurt Vonnegut