The Words We Choose‏

This is from a Mr. Chris Brogan at Human Business Works, along the lines of my Words to Live By, I suppose,good quick thoughts….enjoy

One phrase I dislike greatly is “you guys.” Know what I mean, Jim? It just immediately does two psychological pokes at you:

1.) The person saying “you guys” isn’t “with us.” Because there’s a me, and a you guys.
2.) The person saying “you guys” sees me as part of a crowd, and doesn’t see ME.

To me, the words we choose are very important. Agree?


If you tell me you’re trying to lose weight, you’ve already told me two things about yourself: you’re “trying” (wiggle room) to lose weight (a specific and temporary win versus a lifestyle change).

See how this works? What you say leads what you do. And it leads to whether you’ll nurture yourself and others, or whether you’ll break away from whatever you’ve stated.

This doesn’t have to be cosmic in nature. It’s pretty damned functional. But I warn you: if you start paying attention to the words you use, your life will change. All of it. A little here, a little there. And why? Because words are like the crosshairs we use to aim our intentions.

Do or do not,” said that famous philosopher, Yoda. “There is no try.”


Don’t think about what you’re going to do after you read this letter from me.” Did it work? Did you think about what’s next? Here’s a really tangible lesson: if you frame everything in the positive, it works much better than the negative.

Get healthy” is a lot better than “lose weight.” Why? The frame is that you’re heading towards something. You’ve planted the seed that health matters. “Quit smoking” doesn’t work but “getting healthy” helps.

Remove qualifiers like “trying to” and “planning to” and anything other than your commitment, and you’ll get even more power from this.


There are plenty of people who use words for malicious intent, and even more who use words to misdirect. But like any tool, we can use something to seek a positive or negative effect. If you eat a box of Band-Aids, it won’t heal you. You can use the gunpowder from a few bullets to cauterize a wound and keep someone from bleeding out (or at least that works really well in movies).

So just commit to using your super powers for good. Right?


In your business or your organization, your role (no matter what else you do) is to provide the framing and the mindset to help people navigate the process. You can make people feel welcome or you can shut them out. You can confuse them with big words or you can make it easy. You can choose words that are more solid and less wishy-washy, or not. (Get the joke?)

But choose your words. And do it everywhere. Say good things to yourself. Use the positive of every sentence as often as possible. Look for places where you want to affect change and I bet the words you use around that area could use a tune-up.

Attention. Intention. The world pays attention to how we voice our intentions.

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