Oh, the Power of 2 & 4 Letter Words!!!
It occurred to me that a blog about the power of words could be very timely. In this world, 2023, there seems to be no ceasing of words. But are they spoken with consciousness, care, conviction, or concern for consequences?
Think of this last sentence…..
Today how many words have you spoken?
How many words have flowed through your thoughts?
How many words have been spoken to you?
What are the memorable words of this day for you?
Can you sum your day in one, two, or three words?
Think of the field of marketing, specifically consider the notion of Branding.
We are told that to succeed we must not only have but be a brand.
Succeed, now that’s another word of the moment. We want to succeed. Do this and you will succeed. It’s similar to the word, Unstoppable. Over a year ago, I did a short online program called, “From Stuck to Unstoppable.” Over 400 people attended the short program. Absolutely zero people signed up for a follow up course to work on the processes of becoming unstoppable.
So, in my assessment of this experience, am I a success or am I a failure? Notice the “I am”.
I could have said, Did I fail or did I succeed? Very different meanings to the assessments. One suggests flaws in my personhood. The other something in the way I organized or delivered my words. There was this factor of a “conversion ratio” that I needed to consider.
Feedback was that people loved the program. But they didn’t realize that there was something being marketed. The moderator had offered a sign up for follow-up if people wanted to know more or go further? What happened? People suggested that they had perceived the short program as a “gift”, not a “sales pitch.”
For me, personally, the program was quite successful. I developed a new paradigm for thinking about going beyond any circumstances that could define us. I connected with an audience who wanted to use the assessment chart that I included in the presentation. I challenged myself to wrangle an infinitely prolific, evolving process into something that could be “packaged”. And, I think from the spot of genuine transparency, I faced my own fears to share concepts deeply meaningful to me without having any strings attached to an outcome of “what’s in it for me.”
I have not liked failure. I have run from failure as if it was the plague. I have held myself in a box way too many times.
One of my most cherished values is “creativity.” I’ve taught many successful courses in creativity. I still do. But the truth is that too many times I have failed at one cardinal rule for those who will be creative. I have chosen my words to play to the values of the attending crowd. Choosing to be politically correct, to not offend, to avoid conflict, to gain approval. In those times, I kept the message on a “paved road”, not really daring to blaze a new trail. That is not fearless, which is also an aspirational value of mine.
There is much more that I could say about our words, about my words. But I will be sensitive to your time schedule. So going forward with this blog about our words, allow me to share some others’ thoughts about the power of words and then I shall end with a tribute to the title of today’s blog.
So, I have this hypothesis. It is this. Those who dare to step out of their comfort zones are the ones who live their true life’s purposes. The ones who vow to never die without having written or sung their own unique song are the enviable ones! Along those lines, recently I read a statistic that showed that most wildly successful people fail more often than they succeed.
My sense is that this is a universal law or principle. The world is designed to keep on evolving. It is, as philosopher Ken Wilber asserts, Spirit-in-Action. The invisible becoming visible. Life itself is the great disrupter paradoxically paired as the great provider in whom we can trust! And, so it is in that for us, as individuals and as people, we must continue learning to evolve or we will die with our song still inside. This stands for individuals and societies.
So, perhaps that is why, at this very time in history, we are asking anew about being unstoppable, about evolving, about something to hold onto in the midst of what seems as permanent white water. In these turbulent times we need something of substance to hold on to.
And, so that is the real reason for me sitting to offer you this blog. Seek, know, hold on to what is of lasting value to you. Don’t spend your time in this lifespan of yours trying to dance to someone else’s tune. Choose your words in ways that amplify the message of your mission.
Know that your song springs from an infinite source that has entrusted you with this precious lifespan. Value this, your life, its purpose. See your dream, your vision and speak it clearly, with no apology but always with an eye and open mind, heart, and soul. And, before I move on to share some others’ comments about the power of words, one more thought;
This message is a universal message…..For it to manifest, we must hold and uphold it for every other person alive. This is a universal message that points us to the power of Diversity as Abundance. This is our new road that begins with stepping into what M. Scott Peck penned over half a century ago in his seminal book, THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED.
The following quotes are from Webster’s 21st Century Book of Quotations. (1992) Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
A blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow with a sword. Robert Burton
A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed. Henrik Ibsen
One forgets words as one forgets names. One’s vocabulary needs constant fertilization or it will die. Evelyn Waugh
Now, back to a few more thoughts…..
I agree with Dallas entrepreneur, Mark Cuban, when he says that the most powerful tool for our 21st Century is LEARNING. As an educator and a lifelong learner, I see learning as an essential ingredient in all of our paradigms and systems for moving beyond even sustainability to the evolution of our planet if we are to survive the one myth that has the power to eliminate our viability. This myth is that to succeed means that we find the path to, land on and get to stay on easy street, stay in the comfort zone, and never have to fret again for anything that we want.
In contrast to this myth is what I believe Evelyn Waugh and the others quoted above were pointing us to as a constant fertilization of new ideas, new, more respectful, deeply intuited approaches, new birthing of life on this planet and even, now with a marriage of human technologies with other advancing technologies begin to think beyond even a global but to a galactic potentiality. (Learning if you will. )
May this blog piece stir your inner being and outer expressions to live your whole life as an unfolding miracle of renewable energies that serve a purpose so inspiring that its legacy is one of greatness for all those that it touches for generations to come. This I believe is our birthright, us, these six generations that now co-habit this given planet. And, now to wrap it up in two and four letter words…..
If it is to be, it is up to me/us.
Love over fear!