It is said that the first tool of mankind was a stick. The first man (or the first ape, more probably) to lift a stick used it for distance management. Either to get something they couldn’t reach on their own closer to them or to keep a safe distance between themselves and something new they don’t fully understand yet. The second tool was the rope, which we used to secure things that were important to us; whether that something is things we found, animals we’ve caught, or even people.
Very quickly these useful tools became weapons – we understood how to turn a simple stick into a spear or even an arrow. We used the rope to enslave people we thought were lower than us on the social ladder. Eventually, we created a powerful tool that was an important part of the survival of the Homo-Sapiens. We invented Language. So why are we so insistent on turning this into a weapon as well?
We’re not the best
Homo-Sapiens were not the only humans on the planet. They were also not the strongest – Homo-Sapiens literally means “smart man” in Latin. There were two elements that distinguished them from other species: creativity and language. Creativity and the need for innovation led them to explore their world; Discover new places and multiply across the planet. Language helped them create useful collaborations that were crucial to their survival. These two elements together have given Homo-Sapiens the capability for complex design and spread new ideas between one person and another. Like any tool that has ever fallen into the hands of Homo-Sapiens, language can also be destructive if one chooses to use it in that way.
Language has a lot of power that we tend to take for granted. A sentence said in the heat of the moment can shatter a relationship. A word accidentally thrown at a wrong child can scar them for life. I’m sure that as you were reading this, some memories of things that were said and negatively impacted you resurfaced. It’s not fun, and in some cases extremely difficult to forget.
The choice is ours
Like any other tool we use, we are responsible for how we actually use it. Sometimes we use Language in a particularly ineffective way without paying attention; Like a kid trying to cut a salad for the first time and not knowing how to hold a knife. He might do a great job and nothing would happen – or he might hurt himself. The same is true with our thoughts and what we say out loud. We formulate thoughts with words that are not the most positive in the world and say words without thinking. We’ll do this enough and it will begin to affect the way we act or the way we react to unpleasant situations. In short – we’re suckers. Wasting energy and time that we could have used to our advantage.
Obviously, I’ve made that mistake too. I still do sometimes. It works automatically for most of us. Throughout the first year of running my business, there was a constant thought that came back again and again – “I don’t have enough money“. Another thought that kept accompanying me was “This is hard“. Not the most positive frame of thought. Wayne Dyer once said “What you think about – expands”, and that’s exactly what happened. I was having such a bad time financially and was considering giving up and closing my business altogether. I was so focused on the problem that I couldn’t even think of a solution. I would probably have missed it even that magic solution would start dancing in front of my face.
Like trying to run with giant rocks attached to your shoes
I quickly realized that something was wrong. Not necessarily in what I’m doing – but in the way I’m thinking. People don’t say thoughts create your reality for nothing. I’m not talking about “The Secret” or being positive. It’s way more than that. It has to do with changing what your brain is concentrating on. The things it’s sensitive to and is unconsciously searching for.
If I think “I have no money” over and over again, I only reinforce the reality where I have no money and that there’s nothing to do about it. You probably have a similar thought of your own that is constantly reinforcing a negative state of mind. Maybe you think “I have not money” too. But it’s not exclusive to money problems. We think about negative aspects of ourselves all the time and we don’t even notice; “I’m not talented”; “I don’t get along with *insert someone’s name here*; “I’m not good enough”; “I’m miserable”. Unfortunately, we’re not lacking in the negative thoughts department. The funny thing is, that some of those thoughts (if not all of them) are actually groundless but they’re still insanely powerful.
Here’s a video that perfectly illustrates this idea:
The solution I found
Our language, the way we formulate our thoughts – affects the way we act and react. Because of this, instead of thinking “I have no money” I changed my perception and started asking myself “How do I get money?“. Very quickly I found myself drowning in opportunities for very nice profits. My reality didn’t change – my perception did. I re-calibrated my mind to be sensitive to income opportunities. I was very excited about this trick so I started asking more questions:
- “How do I get more customers?”
- “What else can I offer?”
- “How do I grow the business?”
It wasn’t before long that I received the answers to my questions. I don’t think I would have evolved so much in the last few years if I had’t asked myself these questions. Questions, by the way, that I also asked in the personal and social space. I started asking myself:
- “How do I treat my parents? How can I help them?”
- “What am I looking for in a partner, and how do I find her?”
- “Am I as good a friend as I want to be?”
I came up with interesting breakthroughs in my relationships, from extraordinary openness with friends to rebuilding relationships that I thought were ruined forever. All because I asked myself the right questions, and made a conscious effort to communicate effectively and positively with the people around me.
Language is the most powerful tool we’ve ever created or will ever create. It controls the nature of our relationships, sets thought patterns, and leads to action – or inaction. That is why if we know how to use language effectively, we’ll reach amazing breakthroughs in our lives.
What negative thought patterns are repeated in your head? What significant change has happened in your life from a simple change in perception? I would love to hear all about it in the comments 🙂