The Influence of Words

closeup photo of gold fountain pen

“The pen is mightier than the sword.” Well, the actual pen might not be, but the words that the pen writes certainly are. Words are incredibly powerful and can set an attitude that infuses every moment of every day. Words are so influential that our behaviors are near-perfect reflections of the words we use. Let’s take that thought a little further.

Research has proven that human beings think with words. Those words create pictures in our minds, and because of past experiences and personal histories, emotion (or emotions) get attached to those pictures, automatically. This happens regardless of each individual’s native language because it is the words that are the initial trigger.

As an example, Seattle basketball legend Lenny Wilkens was asked what had served him well over the years. He replied, “I wake up in the morning and say, ‘Good morning, God,’ rather than, ‘Good God, it’s morning.’”

How many of us fall back on the second comment – or something similar – and then find we have to drag ourselves out of bed, stand in the shower trying to convince ourselves we want to get up, and then find we “fight” a negative attitude all the way to work. All the while, we are pushing back against the “have to” of starting our day. This “have to” attitude has a good chance of flavoring the rest of the day with something sour or bitter. And we certainly aren’t going to flourish with that scenario.

How much better would life be if we started each day with a little appreciation for yet another opportunity to contribute to the betterment of the world – even in the smallest manner? A simple, heartfelt smile to the folks on the video call, the bus, or at the train stop, becomes a nearly effortless “pass along,” a positive contagion for the rest of the day.

Ask yourself, how did I start my day today? If it did, indeed, impact the way you saw the rest of today, then ask yourself, how do I want to start the day tomorrow? The choice is ours to make, regardless of where we are or when we start our days. So, which will you choose?