“Words form the thread on which we string our experiences “ – Aldous Huxley
By choosing the words wisely, one can filter and transform the daily experiences. The words we choose affect the way we communicate to ourselves, and the feelings and emotions we are experiencing. An impoverished vocabulary equals an impoverished emotional life; people with rich vocabularies have a full palette of colors with which they paint their life experiences. I learnt a lot about the power of words from Tony Robbins’s “Awaken the giant within”, a great human transformation book, on my Fav books list alreay. The insights below came from this book and my real life observations. Every day I listen carefully and observed people around me. The way people describe their lives mirrors their inner selves.
Imagine that somebody is asking you today “How are you?”. You might answer “I feel okay or I feel fantastic”. Do you sense the difference? Simply by changing your habitual vocabulary that reflects your current emotions, you can instantaneously change the way you think, feel, and live.
In case of the same conflict, a person might feel “angry and upset”, another one “furious, and enraged”, while the third one “just a bit annoyed”. Words translate the attitude towards the situation and the whole behavior that derives. Angry – livid – upset, annoyed – one can use any of these words to describe the negative experience at a certain moment.
By Transformational vocabulary we understand that the words attached to our experience become our experience. Using some specific word, we generate some sensations in the body that triggers a biochemical effect.
According to different sources, English language has between 500 – 750k words, while German language has just half number of words. Research indicates that the habitual vocabulary includes just 2-10K words, representing only 1-2% of the language. Out of this vocabulary just 3,000 words describe human emotions, out of which 1,051 positive, 2086 negative emotions. Using transformational language, we achieve two main objectives: 1) Lower negative intensity; 2) Powerfully intensify positive emotions.
Simply by claiming “I feel spectacular” rather “I fell okay”, you create new patterns in your neurology, and thus a new neural pathway to pleasure. Words that generate positive emotions, enthusiasm generates the energy that makes the group feels appreciated. It intensifies the positive atmosphere and creates the state of flow that motivates people to achieve a goal. Besides, by using the so-called “softeners” in case of negative situations, the emotions experienced by individuals and group are diminished, and less energy is drained without a clear purpose.
As for many people of the planet, Steve Jobs is one of my sources of inspiration speaking about dreams, passion and path to follow. The words he used are full of emotions. Emotion is driving action, as feeling great makes you act. “Love what you do”, “Keep looking, don’t settle”, “Follow your heart and intuition”, “You know what you want to become”, “Stay hungry, stay foolish”. No wonder we all love technology these days.
Another great inspiration for me is Isabel Allende’s with her fantastic books and unique speech on TED. I suggest you spend 17 minutes, watching her speech called “Isabel Allende – Tales of passion”.
Laugh a bit, cry a bit and feel alive a lot !