If there was one thing anyone can fall in love with
28 Jul 2017
Words have power
Much wisdom often goes with fewest wordsSophocles - Tragedian
Words are beautiful. Words are powerful. Words are everywhere. In what we write, in what we see, and even in what we think. Not many give importance to the choice of words they use or hear. There is a saying that goes something like this, “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.”, but in this generation where media is everything, you can really tell who a person is if you know what words are spoken to them. When I say spoken, it not just hearing, it’s about seeing or even many times it’s about perceiving.
What can words do?
Words can make you, or break you. That’s how simple you can explain. It would take a book to explain in detail, but if we look at a few things that we encounter in our daily lives, we should be able to understand how these words impact our lives.
Advertisements: Not every advertisements are using any or many words. I believe that an advertisement really works by inducing the audience to process words in a way that will result in an action beneficial for the advertiser. The reason you decide to take the action is because you have processed the right words. The reason someone else has not taken the action is because they haven’t processed the expected words. This is why each of us relate to the same advertisement in a very different way.
Successful advertisements have been better at identifying the common words available in the target group which can be processed by the majority of the users in the way it is expected to be processed. Our purchase habits are completely different from what it was 10 years ago. We still had commercials in TV but we did not but as instantly as now, even if we were in a retail store. It’s not that we did not have enough money back then. It’s just that the advertisers of today have succeeded in inducing us to spend more, and instantly.
So how do they find these jackpot words? Obviously through the internet. Many services on the internet are free these days. For example, Facebook. How can a company that spends billions of dollars to run the website, offer it for free? They are mining words. Technically, it can be related to ‘data insights’. They give us a free platform to use where they can learn about the words spoken to each of us. The words that gets into our brains. These words are then sold to advertisers as ‘insights’ of the data collected from us.
Emotions: Selfies are one of the buzz words I can use to explain here. Why do we post a selfie? We want to be reassured that we look good. We want people to tell us we are fine or happy even though sometimes we may not be. When someone tells us we are awful, the brain may refuse to process this word initially. But when you hear that very often, your brain starts processing this word and makes you feel awful even if you were not earlier. People dealing with emotional distress needs to hear a lot of positive words. This is because their brains have already processed a lot of negative words to bring them to this stage. Here is an interesting tweet that reminds us that words are important even to the most successful.
It's touching that almost everyone you meet, however outwardly accomplished, craves reassurance you like them and think they're doing OK.— Alain de Botton (@alaindebotton) July 28, 2017
Making the best use of words
There are many ways to make the best use of words. Writing is one of them. These words are often useful to us in a bigger way than to the readers. I’m not so great at writing but it makes me feel happy. It gives me the strength when I’m in need. It helps me build myself at times of retreat. It also helps me discover new words and new meanings/perspective of words I often use. I usually try and be careful choosing the right word to use. I must admit, not all the time 🙂
Speaking is another best use of words. I’ve seen that my speeches are successful not when I present well, but when I use the right words at the right place. Imagine a bunch of people waiting to hear career advice. I get there and speak about what they have learnt incorrectly and why they should unlearn what they have learnt. It may sound irrelevant as career opportunities, job requirements or skills development are usually the talk of the day. I gained the confidence of the gathering. I don’t mean to say the regular talks are wrong. I just believe the reason was to be able to rightly understand needs of words the audience were willing to receive at that moment.
Some of the other ways to make the best use of words could be painting, drawing, music, etc. I don’t intend to write on these for now.
Beauty of words
Some might think the above are talents which they don’t posses. The real beauty of words is that it can be used beautifully even by someone who is not educated. The next time you meet someone, wish them a good day. A person fighting cancer may need to hear comforting words, more than comforting medicines. A person who appears to be doing great things still needs to hear the words of appreciation. A student needs to hear words of wisdom, more than of knowledge. A customer needs to hear words of assurance, more than your accomplishments. A sports person needs to hear words of motivation, more than physical training.
I invite you to explore the beauty of words and just fall in love with them! Ah, and don’t forget, even silence can speak many words!