Considering the power of your words to make or break you
Usually, I wait to finish a book before I review it, but some books have single chapters or sections that just really stand out. I’m about half way through this book and I am very glad I bought it. I’ve blogged a few times about the power of our words to raise or lower or moods, but this book goes beyond that. It is a really in depth analysis of a variety of ways that words–written, spoken or thought–effect our lives–our reputations, our treatment of others, our moods, our futures, and more. Just the first chapter had me underlining a ton of wise points!
The first chapter is an overview of what is coming in the rest of the book, and is titled “The Impact of Words.” One example is a lady who is kind and thoughtful with the “amazing ability to help people feel good about themselves.” Unfortunately, she slips up with her words one day and criticizes her boss publicly, which destroys her career growth. I don’t know how true this story is, but it really got me to thinking. One, the thought of a person who can find the positive and help people feel good is a very good thought! I’d rather be that person than a grump. Two, how true that one poorly thought-out conversation or even one misunderstanding can throw us off track. The example really emphasizes the importance of thinking before speaking, (something I am not too good at doing!) I know, that is a lesson we’ve probably all heard, but I wonder how many of us can truly, truly embrace it to consider how important our words are? The book got me thinking immediately…and made me think about what I want to improve in my own life.
Now a warning…this author is a Christian, and the importance of Godly speech is a recurring theme in this book. I personally do not find it annoying because she works it in so well and there is genuine wisdom in between the Bible verses. She isn’t using the verses to force her ideas; she is giving really good advice and then adding the verses. The things she has to say can be appreciated even if you aren’t religious, but I want to give that notice for people who may not enjoy religious books. I feel like she uses the Bible in a way that is not overpowering, in my opinion.
Another good bit of advice right near the beginning: Meyers talks about a problem in her life that she kept getting stuck on. She’d talk about it and it consumed her thoughts, then she realized that “if I wanted to get over it, I was going to have to stop mentally and verbally going over it again and again.” More good advice! I can’t count how many times I have made myself miserable by dwelling on things I can’t change. It’s pointless. As she says, “where the mind goes, the man follows.”
Another good quote is “We all have challenges in life, but we can make them better or worse by the way we talk about them.” So true! She continues that “speaking negatively could hurt you, but speaking positively never will, so why not go with the positive and see what kind of results you get?” Good point! And I’m even skipping a bunch of underlined quotes because there are so many in the first chapter alone!
I read a lot of books and learn so many good things, but this one honestly has me excited and I’ve been telling friends to read it. It is filled with good ideas and wise advice for being more productive, more positive, happier, more successful and more of a help to others instead of a drag. Plus, this book is almost 300 pages, and so far, none of them are wasted. I look forward to reading more of her books if they are beneficial as this one.