One of our very astute readers from the community reached out last week to thank me for all of the columns over the past few years. Jim shared with me that although he began reading my column with skepticism and doubt, eventually the consistency in each column finally won him over.
The consistency he mentioned was the choice of words that I use. Jim used several examples of specific words from prior articles that he said helped him finally make some changes in his own life. Words like positive, joy, passion, hope, encouragement, success, love, kindness, enthusiasm, achievement, and commitment were included among the many in the "word bank" he is now keeping for himself.
You see, Jim had been raised in a less than positive home and environment. He felt like he had surrounded himself with friends and acquaintances that also exuded a less-than-energetic and enthusiastic attitude. He even said that his current family situation had become one in which no one was happy, positive, or motivated.
Jim made a choice several months ago to start collecting the words from this column and include them in his vocabulary with everyone he came in contact with. Although he started slowly using just one or two words a day, before he knew it every sentence he used included some form of positive, uplifting, encouraging, inspiring, and motivating words. And here is the part of the email that really got me:
"It was funny Mr. Norton, the more I used those words, the better I felt about myself and the more I smiled. I almost couldn't help myself but smile and everyone around me started smiling too."
Now I certainly didn't invent those words, and I am not the master motivator as some such authors and experts are, but I am and will continue to be a messenger of a positive message. We should all have a 'Jim' in our lives and if we don't, maybe we can also become a little like Jim and adopt that positive outlook, build our own word banks of the words that resonate with us, and then share our powerful and positive new vocabularies with everyone we meet or greet as a part of our everyday conversations.
Do you think you can add those words, say them out loud and not smile or look happy? I have to believe that the answer is no. I am absolutely convinced that we can all make such a huge difference in our community if we consciously made word choices that others find empowering and motivating.
When we fill our heads and hearts with positive thoughts and emotions, over time we can eliminate any of the negativity that has gripped and/or run our lives in the past. It's a new year, let's make it one of sharing winning words and see how our lives and the lives of others just may change.
What does your word bank look like? What are your go-to words? What would happen if they were all positive instead of negative? I would love to hear all about it at firstname.lastname@example.org and when you do, I promise that you and everyone around you will have a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of www.candogo.com. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.