What are the best words for you?
Words are a powerful communication tool, and with them comes a great deal of meaning. What’s interesting though is that the same word can carry different meanings for different people. Take the word ‘education’ for example. Some people think of fun and games when they think of education, others think of maths and science, and still others think of rules and discipline. That means that when we have a conversation about education, we think we’re all talking about the same thing, but if we looked below the surface we may find we are thinking of something completely different.
People may also have a preference for one word over another because of the meaning it carries for them. For example, for some people ‘career’ is a great word. It is a word that suggests a long term plan, a commitment to their work and aspirations to succeed. For others, it is a tie that says they have to be serious and choose one thing, so instead they love the word ‘job’ as that means they can go to work, then go home at the end of the day and leave it all behind. They may love the flexibility of being able to leave that job any time they choose, and try something else if they wish, something a career focused person may not even consider unless there was a really good reason for it.
Given the different meanings that words can have for each of us, it’s good to choose our words carefully at times. For me personally, the word ‘exercise’ is a dirty one. Years of hard work and pain recovering from a back injury taught me that exercise is hard, painful and something to be avoided wherever possible, yet I quite enjoy ‘going for a walk’, and I like ‘getting some fresh air’ even more. You might argue that those are all the same thing, yet they feel completely different to me, and my motivation towards each is correspondingly different as well. ‘Chores’ are another thing I want to avoid. As soon as I think of that word my insides sink. Yet ‘doing the dishes’ is fine, as is ‘vacuuming the floor’. And I know from experience that the way I think about it has a big effect on whether I get stuck in and do it or find a whole bunch of other things worth spending my time on instead.
Considering your own words and where you might like to change them is important. Would you prefer to do things because you ‘have to’ or because you ‘want to’? Would you like to ‘pay off debt’ or ‘create more choices for your future?’ Would you prefer to ‘stop eating treats’ or ‘eat delicious and nutritious foods which give you more energy’ instead? Changing your words changes the meaning that goes with them, and that means making things a whole lot more motivating and a whole lot more fun.