Your choice of words matter


Your choice of words matter


The act of urging reflection and using words to support and motivate others is a noble and fruitful task. In my existence, one of my tasks has been to participate in forums to talk to others. I have a unique system for my speeches, but the only constant in my method is a small request I make before I speak, in which I silently ask the universe to send me a sentence that would help someone reflect and improve their lives. In honor of my mom and her eternal brilliance in telling us, as Silvio Rodriguez (a Cuban Singer) would say, the perfect word at the perfect time to get us out of the slump. And I have a short list that I have mentally put together from several lectures and research on the topic that I try to follow to respect my belief in the extraordinary power of words.  Here it is, I hope you find it helpful.

1. Be careful with the word ‘no’. Sentences with the words ‘no’ tend to completely negate the word ‘yes’. There’s a story from Pu Yi when he was telling his disciple that ‘no’ is what humans, for some reason, have programmed into their lives, while ‘yes’ must be conquered to accomplish anything in life and be fulfilled.

2. Speak in positives. Speak what you want, not what you don’t want. Remember that the universe is listening. Try to replace your negative thought with their positive equivalent. Instead of staying, the night is horrible, say that it would be nice to have a good night. When you use adjectives to describe something, use positive one.

3. Don’t use the word ‘but’, because it negates everything that precedes it. For example, “Luis is an intelligent, thinking, fighting man, but…” Replace the ‘but’ with ‘and’, where possible.

4. Eliminate the word ‘try’, which presupposed the possibility of failure. For example, “I’m going to try and get ahead.” In other words, there’s a big chance that you won’t do it, but you’re going to ‘try’. Say: I’m going to get ahead.

5. Forget ‘I can’t’ or ‘I’m not able’, which give the notion of impossibility. Use ‘I couldn’t’ or ‘I wasn’t able to’, which presupposed you will achieve, you will be able.

5. Be careful with the words ‘I should’, ‘I have to’, or ‘I need to’, which presuppose that something external controls your life. Instead, use ‘I want’, ‘I decide’, ‘I’m going’.

6. Talk about your problems or negative descriptions using past-tense verbs. This frees up the present. For example, “It used to be hard for me to…”

7. Talk about the changes you want in the future, using present-tense verbs. For example, instead of saying, “I’m going to do,” say, “I’m doing…”

8. Replace ‘if’ with ‘when’. For example, instead of saying, “If I have a partner, I will have a great time,” say, “When I have a partner, we will have a wonderful time and be a great team.”

9. Replace ‘I hope’ with ‘I know’. For example, instead of saying, “I hope I learn this,” say, “I know I’ll learn this.” Hoping can cause hesitation and dampen the language.

10. Replace the conditional with the present. For example, instead of saying, “I would like to thank you for being here,” say, “I thank you for your presence.” Present-tense verbs are braver and more determined.

11. Never speak poorly of others. Like my mom says, remember what Thumper’s mom says in Bambi, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. If your comment will not contribute anything good, just breathe and let it go. You do not need that bad energy around you.

12.  Be kind and good with the words you say to yourself and others. Be compassionate and supportive to yourself. Be your own cheerleader and that of your loved ones. Have an internal dialogue and remind yourself that you can change the world and improve it and you have to start with yourself.

Don’t forget the immense power you have to motivate and incite the growth of others, your friends, siblings, work colleagues, team, family, partner. The power to strengthen others through your words by motivating them is a universal force. Celebrate their skills and achievements, remind them of their inner strength. Always tell them they can, we are going to do it together because I’m here with you. We can get through anything. Don’t forget that through you, someone could reach their potential.

Being aware of the power of words is very important. What differentiates us from animals is the ordered sound that transmits wisdom, knowledge, the generosity of a good heart, and the ability to communicate.

We need to be alert to speak correctly, positively, clearly, without double entendres or negative words. This is the way to control our abilities, thereby harnessing that capacity that we waste by using only one-tenth of our divine power.

The power of the conscious use of our language makes it possible to rear our children such that they know that they can be anything they want. We give hope to those who most need it, give a word of encouragement for those right on the edge of achievement, give love to those who most seek it, and thus, guarantee an existence of appreciation and evolution. Remember that these words can completely change someone’s life for good and their destiny. Don’t forget to use this power for your own world and those that surround you. This great power is the impactful and transformation force of your words.