Your words and how you say them hold tremendous power over yourself and others. You can use your words to tear people down or to build them up. It is a choice that you make every single day, minute by minute, hour by hour. Ask yourself, are you currently using your words to strengthen the people around you or to diminish them? How are you spending your time in communication with others? Are you “telling” people things, but not listening to them? Are you texting yet never speaking face-to-face with loved ones, friends, or colleagues at work?
A recent survey was conducted in the United States, where parents reported that they only spent 35 minutes per week in good conversation with their children. These startling statistics average out to be only 5 minutes per day that parents spend in positive conversation with their children. Yet being a parent is the most important role that you and I will ever have upon this earth. Whether you are a parent, or not we all have a responsibility to choose our words wisely so that we add substance and positive meaning to the lives of others around us.
For every day in the month of September, I challenge you to make a commitment to genuinely do and say at least one of the following, and at the end of the month reflect upon the difference that these small, simple, yet profound acts made upon your life the lives of those around you:
- Tell 5 people that they light up your life and how they make a difference in your life. Listen as they respond back to you.
- With your family (or the people that you live with, or colleagues that you work with), ask them to list 6 words to describe their day. Have a conversation with them about the words that they have chosen and listen to what they are saying.
- Find 5 random people and smile at them. Pay attention to what their reaction is.
- With 5 people in your inner circle tell them how beautiful their smile is. Take note of how they respond to your genuine and encouraging comments.
- Tell your spouse/partner how beautiful they are on the inside and the outside. Describe to them what this beauty looks like. Wait and listen to their response, and then respond back to them. Try for each day of the month to continue a conversation where you are genuinely complimenting them.
- Tell your children how beautiful they are on the inside and the outside. Describe to them what this beauty looks like. Watch and listen to their reaction and response. Actively engage with them in positive uplifting conversation. *If you are not a parent, find a child to tell this to, as you could be a grandparent, an aunt, an uncle, a friend or a neighbor.
*If you wanted to take this challenge one step further, record these situations in a journal as to how you responded and how those around you responded. At the end of the month reflect upon your journal writings.