Inspiration, Must Read

The Words We Choose

January 10, 2011

How often do we really stop to think about the words we use in our conversations and our writing? This is a question that came to mind when I received an email from my friend, Harry, who sent me a Wordle image that he created while I was offline in Vermont. Wordle is a cool applet that creates word clouds based on website content. In this case, it analyzed my 2010 recap post.

My first reaction to this image was ‘this is awesome!’  It seems to capture the essence of what I experienced and wrote about in 2010, but in a view that is a bit non-traditional.  It seems that this could be a good exercise to do occasionally with our writing.  Sort of a pulse check, if you will.

Brandon Sutton Wordle December 2010Obviously, the words we choose matter when we are communicating our message to the world, but they matter just as much when they are bouncing around in our heads.  Over the past 2 years, I’ve found myself being more and more mindful of my choice of words as I speak with others or capture my thoughts on paper or in blog posts.  It’s as much about keeping myself focused on what I want to manifest in my life as it is about conveying my thoughts to others.  After all, our thoughts (and in effect the vocabulary we use) determine what we experience in life.

What do you think?  Do you pay attention to the words you use throughout your day?

Wordle image courtesy of Harry Hallman

11 Comments

  • Reply Hhallman January 10, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Good point and most relevant because research I have seen indicates that repetitive impressions of images and words are remembered by the subconscious more. Based on this your year recap should leave your readers with two main thoughts: "Incredible people."

    • Reply Brandon Sutton January 10, 2011 at 3:04 pm

      Thanks Harry. I was thrilled when I first saw the image. I was like ‘YES!’ I also liked that ‘experience’ ran through the middle. Pretty cool. Thanks again for sharing it!

  • Reply Callahan Mcdonough January 10, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    So true Brandon. The Power of NOW comes to mind, the ability to mindfully observe our thoughts, E.Tolle ( I know a resource for you as well). The change internally in privacy of my own mind the most important, regarding my life experience, actions and interactions. I notice throughout the day how my energy is feeling, if its dipping down, I stop to notice the thoughts/interpretations I am having. Sometimes I can challenge the unproductive thoughts, sometimes not. Either way, observing my thought interrupts the downward spiral and gives me an opportunity to be in the NOW, more fully alive. thanks.

    • Reply Brandon Sutton January 10, 2011 at 8:17 pm

      I absolutely loved The Power of Now! It, along with Presence, were two of the books that had the biggest impact on my life in 2010. As you said, just being aware of your thoughts and noticing when your energy is shifting away from what feels good is a huge step. This simple shift in perspective can change everything.

      Thanks for the comment.

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  • Reply Anonymous January 13, 2011 at 9:38 am

    So true. Words are very powerful. I am more mindful myself, especially after noticing pattern of negative words/negative thoughts. Simply shifting my perspective to more positive thoughts and words choices makes a world of difference. Nice post, Brandon!

    • Reply Brandon Sutton January 13, 2011 at 5:31 pm

      Thanks Lori. It’s really amazing how the shift to being more mindful affects how life unfolds. Also, just as our words are important, so are the people that we pay attention to. Choosing what and who we ‘let in’ is also a big factor. Glad this resonated with you!

  • Reply Design by Dustin February 3, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Brandon,

    I couldn't agree with you more. I just wish I applied this concept more often. Even our thoughts are processed (to a large degree) with words. The words that we choose to use not only impact how people view us but they also impact how we view ourselves. Thanks man!

    • Reply Brandon Sutton February 4, 2011 at 9:08 am

      So true, Dustin. It's as much about the conversations we have with ourselves in our heads as it is what we say or write. I'm glad the post resonated with you. Thanks for the comment!

  • Reply Wordle | www.concept9.co.uk August 13, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    […] through some WordPress Resources I came across this Wordle widget on Brandon Suttons website, a page entitled The Words We […]

  • Reply Karin Pinter July 12, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Thanks. This is something I’ve been nurturing for some time now, and happily ‘challenging’ those around me to re-think how they speak out loud (and to themselves!).

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