‘The pen is mightier than the sword’
Edward Bulwer-Lytton – 1839
Words. We use them to convey ideas, discuss concepts, elaborate upon our dreams, and scream at the TV during today’s Superbowl!
They have the power to express our thoughts and enlighten the future, or be used to destroy the very fabric of our lives and those around us.
In this day where abbreviated text, the use of acronyms, and ‘made up’ words abound in our daily lives, has the power of words somehow changed?
“He proved the pen mightier than the sword”
Throughout history, we have seen how even the gentlest of men and women could influence their (and others) future by setting pen to paper, and producing eloquent prose to stir the hearts and minds.
We have also seen examples whereby those with ill intent have used words to pervert the mind, and bring great sorrow and horrors to life.
But, you may say, that is the past, we no longer dwell upon such concepts in our modern, tech enhanced social media world today. Or do we?
“The question isn’t ‘What do we want to know about people?’ It’s, ‘What do people want to tell about themselves?”
Mark Zuckerberg – 2011
Today, we have an unprecedented opportunity to show others who we are on various forms of media. People are seeking out what you say, and tell (them), about yourself more so today than ever before.
Be it the written word on Facebook, Twitter, Blog’s, in an email, or a website trying to convince others how amazingly awesome you, and your product, really are. Or it could be the spoken word, presented on video through the use of YouTube, Periscope, Snapchat, or Blab.
What you tell others is more powerful than you may imagine. And HOW you tell them, even more critical.
No matter the form taken, it is the words YOU choose that will determine if others choose you!
The words you use, written or spoken, in the public’s view speaks to your audience both literally (what you said) and figuratively (what they THOUGHT you said). Friends use it to determine how loyal and staunch you may be, or to question what you may say about them to others. Potential customers listen to learn what you say about yourself to make it worthy of investing their time/money with, and spreading that decision to help you.
And when done wrong, current friends/customers can use YOUR words against you to others – thus causing greater damage.
“The problem with saying or feeling ‘sorry’ is that it often comes after the damage is already done.
Once you have alienated someone with your words, no amount of rebuttal or remorse will truly create the empathy you need to overcome the result. Your legacy may not be what you set out to achieve should you not choose your words wisely.
Remember – bad news (and impressions) travels faster, and further, than the positive message you hoped to pass on ever could. With each mention it becomes more dramatic, and could carry greater negative impact. What started off as a small miscalculation of the intent of what you said may become a hurdle of unimaginable proportions later in your life and business.
But wait! There is a bright side to words!
I have used many words speaking primarily about the -down- side of what can happen. Is it all doom and gloom should we dare to utter even a single syllable in public?
By far, there is nothing that can change your life, and business, for the better more than communication.
The potential, the true power of words, comes when you ‘engage the brain before the mouth’ and speak with knowledge, conviction, and a manner that creates an atmosphere for growth and mutual understanding – no matter the form of media used.
No one ever said you had to become someone you are not simply to please people. In fact, that rarely works, and tends to create more issues. Be honest about who you are, just try and use the appropriate words and mannerisms to convey that effectively to others. Visualize the values and ideas you would want others to hear and believe about you, then present that for their perusal.
First impressions are powerful. Make yours one that resonates with those you may encounter.
People are far more willing forgive any small forays into the abyss of bad communication – IF – you have already established yourself as one worthy of their time and attention.
Ultimately, you control your own future. No one can do more good, or damage, to it than you. Use the power of words to your advantage. Although it may seem trivial in today’s environment, it could be said that at no time before can what you say influence so many, so fast.
I truly want each of you to achieve what you seek on your journey. The simple act of acknowledging the power of what you say, and it’s ramifications, as we move forward WILL enhance and strengthen the path to realization of those ambitions.
Today is the last chance you have of changing tomorrow. Let’s find the words to make it happen!
With Sincere Thanks
“The only limits we have are those you impose upon yourself. Remove the limits!
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A lighter look at word power from Weird Al! Oh yeah, it rocks the dictionary!