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Why You Should Choose Your Words Wisely

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This story originally appeared on Lewis Howes

You are what you speak.

Your words come together to write the story of your life, so you must choose your words wisely.

The words you think, the words you write, the words you sing, the words you dream.

In many creation stories, “the word” is considered the origin of all life.

The word is the catalyst, the intention, the incantation to manifest what was previously only imagined.

As if when something is first spoken, it only then becomes real.

Words truly are magic. Remember every stage magician’s reveal? That word we all associate with magic? It is abracadabra. With the flick of a wrist or the twist of the wand, something appears or disappears.

The word abracadabra is said to have come from an Aramaic word which means “I create as I speak,” or, “It came to pass as it was spoken.”

In 2000,  the NYT bestselling book The Hidden Messages in Water by Japanese author Masaru Emoto explored the ability of words to directly affect the material world.

Emoto proposed that human consciousness can have an effect on the molecular structure of water. He believed that water was a “blueprint for our reality” and that emotional “energies” and “vibrations” could change the physical structure of water.

Emoto’s water crystal experiments consisted of exposing water in glasses to different words, pictures or music, and then freezing and examining the aesthetic properties of the resulting crystals with microscopic photography. Emoto claimed that water exposed to positive speech and thoughts would result in visually pleasing crystals being formed when that water was frozen, and that negative intention would yield “ugly” frozen crystal formations. He also believed that polluted water could be cleaned through prayer and positive visualization.

Even though Emoto’s work is widely considered pseudoscience, there is something very compelling about his hypothesis. Because the human body is said to be nearly 60% water,  if perhaps Emoto was on to something real, the words we use within our body may have a profound affect on our physical health and well-being.

Through more widely-accepted research in neuroscience, we do know now that our choice of words has a direct and immediate effect on our emotional response and makes our brains inclined to respond in specific ways. This is true whether we are reacting to spoken words delivered by someone else, or to the inner self-talk that we hear ourselves “saying” inside our heads.

Jeff Brown said, “Words – so powerful. They can crush a heart or heal it. They can shame a soul or liberate it. They can shatter dreams or energize them. They can obstruct connection or invite it. They can create defenses or melt them. We have to use words wisely.”

At the end of World War II the Allies sent a message to the Japanese demanding surrender. The Japanese responded with the word mokusatsu, which translates as either “to ignore” or “to withhold comment.”

It is said that the Japanese meant that they wished to withhold comment, to discuss and then decide. The Allies translated mokusatsu as the Japanese deciding to ignore the demand for surrender. The Allies therefore ended the war by dropping the atomic bomb and transforming the world we live in forever.

“A word after a word after a word is power.” – Margaret Atwood

What words will you choose to live by today? How will you define yourself?

What power do you carry with a single word?

Use your words wisely.

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Lewis Howes

Written By

Lewis Howes is a New York Times bestselling author of The School of Greatness and The Mask of Masculinity. He is a lifestyle entrepreneur, high performance business coach and keynote speaker. A former professional football player and two-sport All-American, he is a current USA Men’s National Handball Team athlete. He hosts a top 100 iTunes ranked Apple podcast, The School of Greatness. Howes was recognized by the White House and President Obama as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs in the country under 30. Details magazine called him one of “5 Internet Guru’s that can Make You Rich.”  Howes has been featured on Ellen, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The New York Times, People, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Men’s Health and other major media outlets.