Of all the things I have learnt about personal motivation, this is one of the most profound. I learnt this more than 20 years ago from the book Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins, and my life has never been the same:
- English language has over 500,000 words, but our habitual vocabulary consists of 2,000 to 10,000 words. Less than 2%.
- There are over 3,000 words to describe human emotions. About 1,000 for positive emotions and about 2,000 for negative emotions.
- Most words, in addition to their literal meanings, convey distinct emotional intensity. This means our choice of words gives us the power to take the most negative feelings and lower their intensity to the point where they no longer bother us. And similarly, we can take a positive experience and move it to greater heights of pleasure.
- What are some of the commonly used words to describe negative emotions? Now think of new words that help lower the intensity of the negative emotions e.g.
- Replace ‘depressed’ with ‘not on top of it’
- Disappointed with Under whelmed
- Failing with Learning
- Frustrated with Challenged
- Pissed off with Peeved
- I hate with I prefer
- Insulted with Misunderstood
- Painful with Uncomfortable
- Illness/sickness with Cleansing
- Stuck with Busy
- Starved with Hungry
- Similarly, what are some of the positive/mediocre words that you can replace with more powerful words to increase the intensity of the positive emotion e.g.
- Replace ‘I’m OK’ with ‘I am super-good!’
- Fine with Awesome / Fantastic / Super
- Good with Great / Magical / Vibrant / Blessed / Dynamite / Incredible / Spectacular
- Glad with Over the moon
- Fortunate with Incredibly blessed
- Happy with Excited / Thrilled
- Not bad with Couldn’t be better
- OK with Perfect
- Love with Adore
- Motivated with Driven / Compelled / Passionate / Unstoppable
Next time when you respond to ‘how are you?’, try ‘fantastic, super good or incredibly blessed!’ instead of the usual depressing ‘ok, i am fine or note bad’. And see how that changes your emotional state instantly.
That’s also the story behind the title of my book, ‘Dhinchak Life’.
PS. The inspiration for this post came from the way I chose to express to myself and others: ‘I was just asked to leave’ because ‘I wasn’t needed anymore’ – instead of saying ‘I was fired’ or ‘I was terminated’. Related post: I lost my job today, but I am grateful and excited!