Change your words → change your thoughts → change your personal life → change your work culture
I was recently on the phone with my daughter who told me about a meeting she attended where she was asked to give the definition of joy. Although she was able to say what made her happy, she was unable to define joy. She asked me what I thought and, like her, I was unable to articulate the meaning.
That night I went to bed with joy on my mind and was awakened at three in the morning with a definition: Joy is a feeling and expression of divine love.
When I woke up the next morning, that definition was still very much with me. I decided to integrate it into my daily meditation and use it to create an intention for my day: “I am joyful today and will be joyful with others.”
Words are powerful, and I have noticed that the words I habitually think and speak shape my experiences. Once I realized this simple truth, I was able to change my experiences by changing my speech. As I changed my speech, I naturally began to change my thoughts. Changing my thoughts and speech also changed how I communicated with others, which changed the quality of my relationships, personally and professionally.
What exactly is a word?
Although words do not have form, they are made of energy that possesses a certain vibration. Words that are used to criticize, condemn or gossip possess a low vibration and are destructive. Words that are used to acknowledge, praise and express gratitude possess a high vibration and, when used positively, are a force for goodness. You can use words for and against yourself as well as another person. The most creative words in the universe are I am, I will and I can. The words you choose to speak after any of these phrases deserve careful consideration.
When you express yourself positively, the quality of your life will raise and the people in your life — family, friends and colleagues — will be positively impacted. Over time, your relationships will change as well. For example, let’s say the culture within your workplace is negative. When you consistently speak in a positive manner, your colleagues will begin to respond to you differently. If you are in a leadership position, consider working with your staff to examine the role of language in the workplace and how communication can create a more positive work culture. If you do it well, the work culture will change.
But first, change your own habits…
Here is an exercise that will get you started:
- Qualify your day. Each morning, decide on the kind of day you want to have and then speak the words out loud. Start with a simple sentence that encompasses the big picture, and then describe specifically what you want. “Today, I will be joyful and productive.” Now add more specifics describing what that means. “I will complete project A easily. I will communicate clearly with X during our meeting. I will thank Y for her contribution.”
- Keep your focus on the positive experience you want. Remind yourself often throughout the day by repeating your first qualifying sentence. Pick a trigger to help remind you. You might decide that the trigger is washing your hands. Everytime you wash your hands, repeat the day’s qualification by saying something like, “I am so joyful and productive today.”
- Catch your negativity. Each time you catch yourself saying or about to say something negative, stop yourself. If you need to apologize to someone, do so.
And now, go have a JOYFUL holiday season!