Saturday, September 24, 2005

Select Words Better than a Billionaire: What Would You Do If You Could Only Succeed?

Good morning, Successful People!

Are you feeling motivated this morning? I certainly hope so. I know that I am!


Being a billionaire can mean that unguarded words may leave your lips. Billionaire Ted Turner is legendary for this. There's not an expletive, nor a curse, that may not have crossed his lips . . . according to press reports. Obviously, a billionaire can buy his or her way out of any unpleasantness that spoken or written words create. In fact, millions tune in to hear The Donald say to a different person each week, "You're fired."

By comparison, you'll have to be more guarded about what you say, and be more willing to eat humble pie to make amends when you make a slip in your choice of words.

I thought about the importance of words in another context as well: In selecting the credos we live by. At the recent Breakthrough to Success seminar conducted by Chicken Soup for the Soul author, Jack Canfield, that I described on August 8-15, Jana Stanfield shared with us many lyrics to inspire us. A number of my colleagues have adopted her lyrics as credos. Let's look at that more closely today.


A number of years ago, Drs. Richard Bandler and John Grinder made some fascinating observations about the impact of words in establishing the field that many now describe as Neuro-Linguistic Programming. They found that words are more powerful than explosives in moving us.

Here's an example. Some of us primarily relate to visual images. Use words about "seeing", "looking", "examining" or "peering" and we really pay attention. Use words like "listening", "it rings a bell" or "that sings" and we lose interest. But a person who likes to "hear the truth" will sit up and take notice to those same words.

I don't have space here to go into all of their findings . . . but one of them has really stuck with me over the years: The subconscious mind absorbs words differently than the conscious mind does.

Most importantly, the subconscious mind usually runs the show.

Here's an example you should know about. The subconscious mind ignores negatives in sentences. So "Don't do that!" becomes "Do that!" to the subconsicous mind. Is it any wonder that two year olds often repeat the misbehaviour that their parents have said NOT to do?

Imagine how your choice of credo can go wrong!


Here's an example that led me to write this post.

A credo that some have adopted based on one of Jana's songs is:

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

On the surface, that sounds pretty good, doesn't it?

But let's analyze that credo from the perspective of the subconscious mind and rephrase accordingly:

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could fail?

That gives me the shivers! I wouldn't do very much that I didn't have to do. I don't like to fail or to even think about failing.

Now, let's select our words more carefully. I find I am more motivated to succeed than to "not fail" even at the level of the rational mind. Also, "attempt" is a weak word. It suggests an incomplete effort that could lead to failure.

Also, if we're not song writers, we don't have to follow a given sentence structure. So here's my rewrite:

What would you do if you could only succeed?

That thought leaves me feeling very positive, warm and motivated.

Try developing your own credo to see how you can improve on the advice that others have given you over the years. Put that credo where you can see it every day. I look forward to your success!


N.B. As you can tell, I'm experimenting with color. Let me know what you like and what I should change about my use of color.

Please let me know what else you would like to learn, and I'll do my best to help in future blog entries.

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May God bless you.

Donald W. Mitchell, Your Dream Concierge

Copyright 2005 Donald W. Mitchell