One word

There is power in words.

The old saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is not always as true as we’d like to think. More often than not, the words people use against us do more harm than good.

My father, who passed away in March 2005, inadvertently scarred me for a good portion of my life by using words to take credit for anything I did well, and he used words to tell me what I needed to improve. Consequently, I grew up believing I wasn’t good at anything, even though I was better than most kids at just about everything I tried. My dad’s words led me to a very low level of confidence in myself that I sometimes continue to wrestle with to this day.

However, the impact of words is not relegated to only harming us, but rather, it has the power to encourage and to heal and to overcome. The same words one might use to manipulate and discourage, another might use to counsel and empower.

As author Dan Britton describes in his book “One Word That Will Change Your Life”, words have the same ability as light in that focused light has significantly more power than unfocused light. Similarly, focused words have a powerful affect on creating positive, lasting change in a person’s life. Britton coaches people through his book to discover one word to focus on for an entire year, and to integrate that one word into everything they do.

Intrigued by the idea, I set out to find my one word, and it came to me pretty quickly. It was obvious after thinking about it for a few moments that their was one word that was glaringly missing from my life, and I committed to keeping that word in the forefront of my mind as I tackled my day, every day for a year.

And therein lies the key to change. It’s not the word that matters so much as it is the focused intensity on that word. Every person will probably discover a different word than the person next to them, but it’s the ability to remain focused on that word for an entire year that will create change in your life.

In the past four months since I discovered my one word, I have seen an increase in the quality of my relationships, in the the quantity of work completed, in my physical health, in my learning, in my writing and in my golf game. It has been an awesome and simple way to approach everything I do.

I encourage you to take the time to discover your one word, and commit to focusing on this word for one year. As the book says, this one word will change your life!

So what’s my one word for 2013?

Excellence.


2 thoughts on “One word

  1. Such a simple way to make a positive change in your life. I understand what you mean about how the words your father used when you were younger molded the way you preceived yourself. The words my dad used has the same impact on me. I believe it was a learned behavior taught thru our grandmother. I constantly am rethinking how i want to word what i want to say to my son because i know how some words can damage ones sense of self. Im going to think of a word to focus on for a year. I believe great change can come from this excercise. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hey Nikki…great to hear from you! I’m glad you found this post helpful. If you want to receive the blog directly in your inbox, just subscribe by entering your email on the left-hand side.

      Glad to hear you are doing well and consciously trying to speak life-giving words into your son! It’s a constant battle to turns the tides of our childhood.

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