With all the rush of working, working out, building relationships, taking care of people and your home, I invite you to reshape details in your world by using different words.
Not only that, but using UNEXPECTED words captures people’s attention, something very challenging to do these days.
Here’s an example.
Don’t you feel a little smile inside when you see these?
Or this one conjures a different feeling:
Actions are more powerful than words; people love to tell me that and I agree. But what drives actions? Feelings drive actions. Feelings come from thoughts and/or interpretations.
How do you change those interpretations? With words. You entertain alternate points of view or P.O.S.S.I.B.I.L.I.T.I.E.S. And different actions follow changed perspectives just as surely as day follows the sound of your way-too-early alarm.
Imagine putting a lemon wedge in your mouth. Are you grimacing? Are your eyes squinting? Just imagining that tart lemon in your mouth creates a physical reaction. Such is the power of your imagination. And your imagination responds to pictures, but in most people, it more easily responds to words.
Try some of these word plays at work and look out for how things change.
1. Imagine you have to create your own new job title.
Pretend the words that you currently use to describe yourself cannot be used ever again [along with all acronyms] — what would you call yourself? How would you describe your job?
A former colleague, aptly named Ace, did just that. He came up with Physician Concierge Services. Physician Concierges don’t order roses or pick up dry cleaning; they offer specialized IT support for the EHR [electronic health record] used by the hospital. He created a job into something more aligned with his strengths and interests.
Here’s a mini-template to get you started.
My official job title is [insert current boring job title]_ but what I really do is [what do you actually do]? for [your client, in-house or not] so that [how you make the world a better place].
And with that, you could end up creating a more imaginative job to do. You might eventually get more $$ for it, or the gift of more time or …. more satisfaction at work.
2. Come up with significantly more daring vision of your future.
What’s a word, or 3, that describe your ideal life?
I choose Daring, Imaginative and Energetic. You may pick Serene or World-class. Your call.
What would happen if your life reflected YOUR word choices? It probably already does.
Make a list of 10 things you would love to experience that fit the word(s) you selected. How would like to expand the scope of your job or change it? You get extra points for highly imaginative and impractical suggestions, like taking a trip to Singapore just because. (Or going on a silent retreat, my personal fantasy.)
3. What kind of words would create a festive mood wherever you are? [Except, not at a funeral home.]
Isn’t it great when people are in a positive mood? You can be the one who raises the energy in the room, aka the Battery Charger. The person with the strongest conviction controls the remote control for moods.
Recall the best compliment you ever got? Reflect on that and see how you feel. Sincerely complimenting others improves their mood AND yours. But don’t be normal about it, predictable and boring. Use smiley words.
Some smiley words and sample sentences:
Quinton, when will you have that beastly report ready with the Q1 projection?
Mary Elizabeth, with a bit more polish, this presentation will bedazzle them, please see my comments.
Iris, where do you fancy having lunch today?
Make your own list and sprinkle those festive words into your reports and emails. Your recipient will surely smile, if only on the inside.
Here’s your homework. Choose at least one of the following.
- Create a new job title.
- Write down 10 things to do that match your ideal world words.
- Make a list of at least 5 festive words. Insert them, one by one, into your emails and see what happens.
- Ban 3 massively-overused words, like awesome, amazing, and great.
What does all this have to do with work? Simple. Happier folks are more productive. That’s a scientific fact (Shawn Achor’s body of work –among others– supports this.)
Yes, the pen is mightier than the sword. The more creatively you use words, the more delight you can create. You can also create despair. Use words to build the structure and potential for your daring and imaginative life. A worthy endeavor, indeed.
Photo by Ashton Mullins, Unsplash.