Our choice of words, our choice of language, is vital for achieving brilliance
How to be brilliant
I am continuing to work through How to Be Brilliant and have just finished the section on positive action. Michael Heppell explains the difference between positive action and positive thinking. It has confirmed that it is good for me to be going through this exercise of identifying my goals, but it is the actions I take towards achieving them which will make the difference.
I really do believe that positive action, more than positive thinking, is the number one cornerstone to making a huge difference to the way that we live our lives. Let me tell you the difference. Positive thinking is great; yes, I’m a fan of it, but it doesn’t work all of the time. (Negative thinking – now that works 100 per cent of the time).
Positive thinking is like walking into a garden full of weeds, looking down and saying, ‘No weeds, no weeds, no weeds’. What will it do to the weeds? Nothing. Its the actions that you take that makes a difference.
How to be brilliant
Our actions include the words we use in our thoughts, speech and writing. So the next exercise was to write down the negative language I used or heard from other people. I am already aware of some of the negativity around me and use an mp3 player at work to hide the sound of some colleagues who appear to start complaining as soon as they arrive in the office. However, I have not really thought about my own words, so I’ve been listening to myself to discover my level of positive speaking and I’ve noticed something interesting.
When I’m speaking to myself I am not negative I just seem to speak plainly to myself e.g. one more game and then start something more productive (although I don’t seem to always listen to my inner voice)!
However when I speak to other people I use significantly more negative language e.g. I hate shopping, I’m not sleeping well, I can’t coordinate my clothes. This also includes when I’m thinking of what to say in a possible future conversation! . I can’t think of many reasons why there would be such a difference between my inner and outer voices apart from trying to fit in with the people around me. Do you have any ideas?
Rather than say ‘I’m tired’, you say ‘I could do with more energy’. It’s the same thing. It may be a different choice of words, but it’s the same thing. Let’s take a look at the response that you’re going to get from your brain. ‘I could do with more energy’: the key words here are ‘more’ and ‘energy’. It’s a request to your brain for ‘more energy’.
When we say things like, ‘I could do with more energy’, immediately your brain goes, ‘Yep, I know how to do more energy’. Your brain will release chemicals, it will change your breathing habits, you will stand in a different way because you will have been given more energy.
How to Be Brilliant
Over the last few days I have been applying his ideas and although it can sometimes take a few moments to think of the appropriate response I am finding it easier than I expected to say things such as “I would benefit from more sleep” and “I want to save my money”.
The next part of this exercise is to consider the questions I ask myself so instead of “why is this so boring?” I ask “how could I change this?” Again I think this could have some interesting findings.