How We Say It Can Change Our Perceptions

Last Friday I published a tip on my In Short Facebook page about my new mantra, which is, “Don’t complain about what you choose.” I have done some more thinking about this and realized (although I always knew it in the back of my brain) what a huge role the language we use plays in how we see the world.

As with most other things in our lives, we get into ruts in the way that we speak. I have a friend (no, it’s not me this time) who uses the words I have to, when describing pretty much anything that is on the schedule. Whether it is a chore or something to be enjoyed, invariable the words preceding whatever the event are “I have to”… Some things definitely fall into the have to column, such as, “I have to go to the IRS, I am being audited” Absolutely a have to for most of us. Though, “I have to go to a concert” should be spoken about as something that is an opportunity and a choice. I know this is just a figure of speech and a habit that is easily gotten into.

I have started paying more attention to how I phrase things, especially work things, when there tends to be more of the “I have tos”, than in my personal life. Really most of the things I do, even in my work, are my choices. I have chosen the work I do, and I love it. Okay most of the time I love it – there are those times when it’s a bit of a chore (going through TSA lines at airports, not my favorite thing) -, but even the things I don’t like are usually part of something I do.

I am taking a leaf from my Dad’s book, who has a positive outlook on life. Dad is 88 years old today and still interested in new things. He enjoys being on the computer and Skype, and since Mum died has taken up cooking. While he can’t do everything he used to, instead of moaning about the things he can’t do, he is busy expanding the things he can. He is an inspiration to me. Happy Birthday Dad!



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