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Exploring Possibilities: Your Words Change Your World
Phullela Gopichand, the name behind India’s resurgence on the world badminton stage, was once asked a question. Question was about the secret behind his discipline. He smiled and said yes it is. He said when you say words like discipline, hard work sacrifice, they sound like hard things to do.
But the day you replace them with liking what you do, loving what you do, getting involved in what you do, having pride and passion in what you do, those difficult words just fade away, the question and issue of discipline never arises.
So it’s not only the words that fade away, they also take away the emotions associated with them. Within the words we speak is an emotional potency. ... Words influence others and build relationships at work and personally.
They can tear down relationships. Simply put, language holds massive, colossal power to manifest change, whether it's good or bad. Japanese scientist, Masaru Emoto performed some of the most fascinating experiments on the effect that words have on energy in the 1990’s. When frozen, water that’s free from all impurities will form beautiful ice crystals that look exactly like snowflakes under a microscope.
Water that’s polluted, or has additives like fluoride, will freeze without forming crystals. In his experiments, Emoto poured pure water into vials labeled with negative phrases like “I hate you” or “fear.”
After 24 hours, the water was frozen, and no longer crystallized under the microscope: It yielded gray, misshapen clumps instead of beautiful lace-like crystals. In contrast, Emoto placed labels that said things like “I Love You,” or “Peace” on vials of polluted water, and after 24 hours, they produced gleaming, perfectly hexagonal crystals.
Emoto’s experiments proved that energy generated by positive or negative words can actually change the physical structure of an object. The results of his experiments were detailed in a series of books beginning with The Hidden Messages in Water, where you can see the astounding before and after photos of these incredible water crystals.
Words have power. Their meaning crystallizes perceptions that shape our beliefs, drive our behavior, and ultimately, create our world. Their power arises from our emotional responses when we read, speak, or hear them. According to Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Waldman, the authors of Words Can Change Your Brain, positive words, “can alter the expression of genes, strengthening areas in our frontal lobes and promoting the brain's cognitive functioning.” Research on the impact of positive words is impressive.
Frontal lobes mentioned above are occipital lobe and temporal lobe. Occipital lobe is responsible for whatever we see and temporal lobe is responsible for whatever we hear. Based on what we see and hear, we create our memories. All those memories are registered in the part of the brain called Hippocampus.
This hippocampus is like a museum where all ancient, old, new, good, bad memories are registered. These memories become our experiences, these experiences create our worldview and we all know that we are nothing, but our worldview. Now if the hippocampus is our museum, we are the guards of the museum. As a guard it is our prime responsibility to have a quality check on whatever goes into the museum.
We unconsciously allow and let all memories and instructions gather there. By changing or reframing the words we use we can give a different feed to our temporal lobe. Hence our memories will change and our world view as a consequence.
We can understand this from this simple example. One of my friends shared a beautiful statement. She said from today onwards we will not say that we are “suffering” from covid, we will say, we are “recovering” from covid. Suffering and recovering are two words with opposite emotions.
They give different instructions to the brain cells. In a difficult situation we might say don’t panic or please relax. Few newspapers also have different ways of reporting an accident. One publishes the number of deaths, but the other publishes the number of survivors. Both news has different impacts on the readers. This is called the biology of reframing your brain cells. This can also be understood by a two liner in Hindi….
अंदाज ए बयां ही हर बात को नया कर देता है
वरना इस जमाने में नयी बात जैसी कोई बात नहीं
So ladies and gentlemen, change your words, your world will change….and you will explore new possibilities…
(The author is a Certified Designed Thinking Master practitioner and Clifton Certified Strength Finder Coach, Corporate Trainer and a Leadership coach. He is based in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, India.)