Do you ever notice where words lead you? It’s fascinating!
As leaders we choose words that inspire and engage people to create a better life and world. I’ve been noticing lately that some words mis-lead me.
(1) A young man with a clipboard accosted me in the airport asking me to sign a petition against something. I asked sincerely, “What are you for?” He stopped his ranting and was dead quiet. Then he started up again saying, “It’s important that we STOP this.” I told him I’ll work for certain things, not against them. He still couldn’t identify what he was for and thus was unable to lead me!
(2) One of my favorite authors wrote a list of nine outcomes he’d like to see when we co-create the world anew. Five of the nine started with “An end to…” which directed my attention to the ends of his bullet points, including: death by starvation, systematic environmental destruction, and mass exploitation of people. It left me feeling disheartened.
What if instead of focusing on problems we focus on the vision of what we want to create? For example, instead of “An end to death by starvation,” how about “Plenty of food for everyone.” Which of these two statements inspires you and energizes your creativity? For me it is the latter.
(3) A Linked-In discussion question I’m following is, “If you could stop all people from doing one thing, what would it be?” I offered, “I prefer to answer a different question: ‘What’s the one thing that if people started doing, it could change the world?’”
What words or phrases mis-lead you, sending you down an unproductive path? What words inspire you to creative action? Please share your thoughts–they are so valuable.
If you enjoy words, you might also enjoy The Power of Words is Unbelievable.
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