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Words are power tools in our box of life skills. They can enslave or free us and even set us on fire! That's powerful; when something so innocuous can carry enough force to shape the future of other people it's important to understand how to use them. Sometimes it isn't even the words so much as how you say them; meanings change based on the emphasis behind them. Look at how things change with these two simple words; pret-ty good or pretty good! One implies things could get way better while the other says things are great, yet they are exactly the same words. The meaning behind them is as important as the words themselves.
Words that enslave us tap into inner fears. These are words that are intended to tear us down or make us feel bad about ourselves. They are the bullying words of 'You're stupid, ugly, fat, undesirable... ' they are the words that make adults cringe and run back to the dark to hide from the pain. They are the same words that destroy the foundation of children rendering them incapable of loving themselves or life. These words spring form the darkest part of humanity typically flung at us from someone who feels very threatened by us for no obvious reason.
Words that free us originate from a loving acceptance that encourages us to press on, to believe in ourselves and our dreams. They are the words of hope; they heal, uplift and inspire us. They frequently form a launch pad to greater accomplishments. When words free us they are providing answers and assurances about something we did not understand or doubted. They prompt us to believe in what we felt was truth.
Words that set us on fire touch the deepest parts of our emotions; some fear based inspiring anger and some faith-based. The faith-based affirm something that matters deeply to us, many times generating new ideas that allow us to pursue a dream we have held tightly to. When words inspire creativity or hope they connect with the place where we have faith in the goal. Those that cause fear touch the place where we hide what we believe is deficient in us.
They are all only words; how valuable are they? Consider that communication skills are at the top of the list for those who are charged with making decisions about hiring and granting salary increases and promotions. They are the basis of every summary about who a person was in life, because they defined who they were. It's only words, but they can create so many different conclusions in the lives we touch.
If you are unsure about how you want to say something, decide what effect you want to achieve and then you will know which words to use and how to say them. Your words will determine how you'll be remembered; they become a part of the legacy of your life.