Ways to distinguish yourself #130 Watch your daily vocabulary

It is easy to NOT watch your daily vocabulary – the words that you use in your daily interaction with your family, friends, colleagues and anybody else for that matter. Everyone around you may be callously using words and sentences that are inappropriate but generally accepted. Here are some examples:

* pain in the neck
* slit my throat
* a real pain

I can go on but you get the point. We use these words and sentences as if they don’t have any effect on our body and future thinking. Wrong! It has been long proven that there are serious side effects of using these and other negative terms in our daily life. Just because people around you are using them does not get you a license to follow. Same like any bad habit (think smoking, alcohol, gambling..) You can always find justification to indulge in a bad habit. But should you?

In one of my favorite books –  “Passion, Profit and Power” (by Marshall Sylver) there is a section where Sylver asks us to make some simple changes to our vocabulary. Here are a couple of words that he asks us to change:

1. Replace “If” with “When”:
If denotes doubt. When removes doubt and pushes us to think about a plan to make it happen

2. Replace “But” with “And”:
But negates everything behind that word. And is more “accepting.”

I am not saying that by changing your daily vocabulary you will succeed faster (Personally, I think you will) but by having a bad daily vocabulary you can almost be sure that you are setting up your own roadblocks on your path to success.

Remember – it does not take a lot of effort to use bad and/or inappropriate language. It may even make you look cool. Last time I talked about it, one seminar participant challenged me saying that he has seen many successful people using inappropriate language. I don’t want to argue on such items. Since there is no scientific study on these things as related to success, it is hard to prove anything. If I say it is plain common sense, I know I will offend many people. So lets just leave it at that 🙂

Update May 23: Scott Ginsberg follows up with an interesting post related to this –
On Using Cool Words. Take a look!