From written words establishing that the foundations of the world were brought into being through spoken words to instructions showing that life and death are in the power of the tongue, those who subscribe to a religious or spiritual belief have a form of knowledge of the power of words in one’s life. From time immemorial, this knowledge on the power of words has always existed but was not widely circulated as it is today. Thanks to the rise of the internet from the late 20th century which has gradually made it easier to share information from virtually anywhere in the world, the rest of the population who did not subscribe to a belief system and had no prior knowledge on the power of words are quickly catching on and gaining awareness of how words we use on a daily basis can have a tremendous impact on the outcome of our lives.
Word can be defined as a single distinct meaningful element of speech or writing, used with others (or sometimes alone) to form a sentence and typically shown with a space on either side when written or printed. It is also a command, passwords or signal. As a verb, it is used to express something spoken or written in particular words (Online Dictionary). A word can have the same universal meaning but can be used in various context to express different thoughts in different cultural settings. Words on its own are neither good nor bad but rather their usage (action) can evoke positive or negative emotions depending on the person and circumstances it is being used in. Let’s take for example the word Love. It is generally used to bring about positive emotions in people hence it is associated with good and bringing about good in people. From romantic gestures typically expressed in relationships to well-intentioned criticism that can be given to friends or accountability partners – both extremes have been associated as a form of love depending on the person at the end narrating the story. The word ‘Love’ can be universally felt when action is taken to back it up. Those with a firm understanding on the power of words have always clothed themselves in beauty, some of them have generously shared their knowledge and others have negatively used it to promote their specific agenda.
Of course, the scope of this topic is not an exhaustive literature on the power of words but rather an expose to shed light on a topic that is widely known but yet not fully understood. It is said that the difference between knowledge and understanding is empathy. Relating to our topic, understanding requires one to be consciously aware of the impact of words they choose to engage with daily especially if one is seeking to produce a desired outcome in life. For example, say an individual seeks to live a healthy, happy and prosperous life, it will be wise for the said individual to seek and use words that emphasis and brings about such thoughts and feelings into their life. Obviously, this does not negate taking the necessary action in line with your desired outcome. Imagine trying to build a superstructure without laying the right foundation? The superstructure (or in our example living a healthy, happy and prosperous life) is the outcome that will be brought about by adding the right foundation such as thinking the right thoughts, using the right words and taking the right action.
Unfortunately, many of us never properly understood the power of words during the formative period of our life. Added that this is also not taught as part of mainstream academic curriculum, many will go through life without ever understanding this very concept. It’s unbelievable when you even begin to think about it. Everyone will have a different story of when they came to the knowledge of the truth regarding the power of words - from finding oneself in unfortunate predicament, to setting goals that required doing something outside of one’s comfort zone to just being plain curious of how to win in life. No matter what led you on this journey, it’s safe to assume that you’ve never stopped studying but even better you are more confident of moulding a life that incorporate words that are only beneficial in your arsenal. A life free from assumption – that’s a word practitioner at work!
There are many experiments and articles that have demonstrated the power of words on our material word. One that comes to mind is the Japanese author and entrepreneur Masaru Emotor. The focus of his experiment highlighted the effect of words on the molecular structure of water. He exposed waters in glasses to different words, pictures or music and then froze and examined the aesthetic properties of the resulting crystals with microscopic photography. What he found was that water exposed to negative words and music formed distorted crystals while water exposed to positive words formed beautiful crystals.
If we have not mentioned it explicitly, all this is to say that we can choose to use words that build us up or tear us down. The words we use can build pictures in our mind - in fact, when we find it difficult to focus on the thoughts we desire, we can speak words to reinforce the thoughts we want to think. Words can affect our mood, our self-image, mindset, attitude and our overall wellbeing. It’s that of a big deal!
Now you know the power of words, it is now your responsibility to make it a mission to choose words that benefit you towards your ultimate life goal. Unfortunately, the school of life does not take into consideration nor does it care that you didn’t know. However, it expects you to how yourself approved through study and meditation. What will life look like in the next 12 months if you decided to take charge of the words you speak -only speaking ones that gives life? It will take a conscious effort on your part and will require making some sacrifices. Sacrifices could range from changing your current circle of friends who are not in support of your new discovery to doing the inner work to develop your self-awareness.
To remain focused and consistent, an action plan will be required to set you on course and an accountability partner you trust will further guarantee that you are on your way to becoming a word practitioner. Then you will realise that the quote “nothing is impossible” is actually a universal truth. You will start dominating your world with your words. But even better you will reverse the equation by first thinking thoughts in line with what you desire before you speak and act. That my friend is what we call intentional living and it is the only lifestyle goals we ever want to be associated with.