Our Words Matter

words, Words, WORDS—I’m up to my neck in words as I craft my next book—The Business of Being. And I’m thoroughly enjoying every minute of it!

During the day I write them. Throughout the evening I read them. I’ve devoured six books since I’ve been here.

A week before I left for my three-month sabbatical, I had the privilege of speaking with a small group of entrepreneurial millennials. One of the topics we discussed was how our words matter.

Hint # 6 — The town where I’m enjoying my sabbatical is one of the few towns in the continental United States that boasts only one—count em, ONE!—drive-thru coffee shop.

My friend Dawn said, “Our words create our world.” That’s one of the reasons I suggest that my clients voice what they want and refrain from stating what they don’t want.

For example, instead of making statements like “don’t slam the door,” “don’t forget your lunch,” and “don’t talk to me like that,” state your desired outcome instead—say what you want. “Shut the door quietly, please.” Remember your lunch.” Speak to me with respect.”

Do you say what you want instead of what you don’t want?

“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.“ —Toni Morrison, American novelist, editor, and professor

Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Brain Food You Don’t Eat

Our neighbor across the street drives a school bus. Each weekday morning we hear a deep rumble as she starts the bus engine, rev’s it up, and then goes back inside to enjoy a cup of coffee while it idles to warm. Her route consists of elementary aged children she transports to and from school so they can learn reading, writing, arithmetic, and numerous social skills.

I would venture to guess that most of the people reading my blog no longer ride a school bus, but we do continue to learn. Whether it’s for our job, a hobby we enjoy, or out of necessity like troubleshooting an issue on our computer or mobil device, the lifelong practice of learning benefits us in so many ways—it broadens our horizons and makes us much more interesting to be around.

Several years ago Len and I attended the Center of Deafness in Northbrook, Illinois where we learned American Sign Language (ASL). We soon discovered, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” Since my right leg has been in a cast, I’ve refreshed my knowledge of the alphabet and I’m re-learning a new word each day.

IMG_0676

What’s your most recent learning?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan

The Book — Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience — Life Harmony

© 2013 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Find me on Twitter @HolEssence

Yes Talk

Decorative Hole by Laurie Buchanan

Decorative Hole by Laurie Buchanan

You’ve heard the famous quote by Epictetus, Roman (Greek-born) slave and philosopher: “We have two ears and one mouth so we may listen more and talk less.” To me that means that when we speak, it should add value.

What we voice has the capability of transforming negative emotions and evoking particular emotional responses. For that reason, I suggest to my clients to only voice what they want, and to refrain from stating what they don’t want. In other words, instead of making statements like “Don’t slam the door,” “Don’t forget your lunch,” and “Don’t talk to me like that,” state your desired outcome instead—say what you want. “Shut the door quietly, please.” “Remember your lunch.” “Speak to me with respect.”

Positive statements help develop neural pathways in the brain for optimistic thinking. When we voice what we want—the constructive end result of what we’re asking for—we provide those in our sphere of influence with tools for success. A subtle shift in our communication can result in improved behavior. It also makes us feel better about our interaction with the people around us.

I took the photograph in today’s post during a recent stay at the UW-Madison campus. It caught my attention because it appears to serve no purpose—a decorative hole in the foundation of a pedestrian bridge. I keep it in my line of vision to serve as a subtle reminder: make sure your ears and mouth aren’t just decorative.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.

The Power of Words

University Bay by Laurie Buchanan

University Bay by Laurie Buchanan

“Writers are the wind that sail words across the page.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

Have you ever felt you would burst from sheer delight? Last night I returned from the Writers’ Institute at UW Madison and my head is spinning with a joyfully intense awareness. I haven’t slept a wink in days because I’ve got enough high voltage energy to power a gazillion-watt lighthouse. I feel as though I have extra clarity of vision and an unusual capacity to perceive and to distinguish.

I am suffused with wonder
i AM suffused with wonder
i am SUFFUSED with wonder
i am suffused WITH wonder
i am suffused with WONDER

… at the deceptive simplicity of writing—for publication. It’s much more complex than it appears at first blush. Especially when you take into consideration the:

– Show, don’t tell factor (he slammed his fist on the table vs. he said angrily)
– Keep it taut – less is more
Specific is your friend
– “Because” – not because I told you so, but causality; to reveal a solution
– The semicolon – don’t overuse it
– Italics – don’t us it. Use words that do their own heavy lifting
– With few exceptions, punctuation goes inside the quote
– End every chapter with an arrow into the next chapter
– Entertainment and emotion are paramount on every page
– Avoid author intrusion (saying something on the side to the reader, like this)

Language at its best is used to inspire others to find the best in themselves. Well chosen words can motivate, offer hope, create vision, impact thinking, and alter results.

Choose each word as if it matters—it does.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.