Friday, March 14, 2014

Words to Live By...

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind"

~ Rudyard Kipling
I confess, for years I was an actual subscriber to the Reader’s Digest.

One of my favorite features was a section entitled "Enrich Your Word Power" where the reader was given 20 words and a multiple-choice test to see if you knew the meaning of the word.

Although I had always been good at math and science, a strong vocabulary had eluded me until I finally decided creativethat it was time to try and improve my language skills in my late 20’s.

I found that some words actually changed my life.

Today I offer readers a short list of just 10 of my most favorite words.  These 10 words transformed my life so I’m pleased to share them with you today...

1)   Ac * tion - (ăkʹ-shən) - n. - The state or process of acting or doing; activity

We can have the greatest plan or idea ever formulated in the history of mankind but until that plan or idea is committed to action it will never happen... well... at least outside of our heads.

Action is moment when something actually happens.

2)   Bal * ance - (bălʹ-əns) - n. - A harmonious arrangement or proportion of parts

All work and no play makes Jane a dull girl... all play and no work makes Johnny homeless.
Creating balance in one’s life should be the ultimate goal of all people. 

Work... play... exercise... family... church... community service... continuing education... are all a part of a healthy life.

3)   Con * vic * tion - (kən-vik’-shən) - n. - A firmly held belief or opinion

This is one of my favorite words.

Living our lives should be done with conviction and a set of underlying principles, ethics, and disciplines.  This gives our lives meaning and purpose.

Our personal philosophies should be embedded into our core values.  This helps us to make good decisions and helps us to maintain a steadfast path to a great life and well-being.

We shouldn’t be afraid to look at ourselves in the mirror each day and wonder who that person is staring back at us.  We should be proud of our thoughts and actions and if not, we need to adopt better philosophies.

4)   Cre * a * tiv * i * ty - (krē-āʹ- tĭ-və-tē) - n. - A phenomenon whereby something new and valuable is created

There was once a time where people were paid to simply sell their time to an employer.  In return for a pay check, the employee would complete certain duties and go to meetings.

Today the world has changed (especially in the last 25 years).  No longer is it acceptable just to show up and process tasks.  The world now demands that we create solutions to complex (and not so complex) problems.

To do so takes imagination and creativity to add value.  Adding perceived value to a product or service is the only way to differentiate it from the thousands of others just like it in the marketplace.

The mantra of the day is to create or perish...

5)   In * teg * ri * ty - (ĭn-tĕgʹ-grĭ-tē) - n. - Adherence to a strict moral and/or ethical code

A simple every day definition of integrity is to say what you’ll do and do what you say.  Making promises (to yourself and others) and keeping promises.

Sometimes this is very difficult.  Doing the right thing all the time means that we might lose from time to time... but we always play by the rules and never look for the gray area in which to operate.

We don’t cheat when no one is looking nor do we do things hoping that we won’t get caught.

We take responsibility for our own thoughts and actions.

6)   Love - (lǔv) - n. - An intense feeling of deep affection or admiration of another; a strong passion

Love is a powerful emotion and something we all need to be enriched human beings.

Love is always given unconditionally (unlike Trust - see below) and that’s what makes love hard.  We all want to have our love returned but that’s not what love is all about.

We can’t force love.

There are many different levels and forms of love.  Respect and admiration are forms of love as are devotion and passion.

7)   Per * cep * tion - (pər-sĕpʹ-shən) - n. - Insight or knowledge gained from processing awareness through the senses

Perception comes from being totally aware of our surroundings by gathering information and facts from our five senses - sight, smell, taste, listening, and touch, and then processing the information to create conclusions and opinions.

The problem that exists is that people process data with individual biases and experiences.  The same set of facts can be given to different people yet their interpretation of the data can widely differ.

Therefore it is often best to try and understand the perspective of other people and recognize that it might differ significantly from our own perspective.

8)   Qual * i * ty - (kwŏlʹ-ĭ-tē) - n. - Degree or grade of excellence

It seems that there are two schools of thought these days when it comes to quality.

The first idea is that quality is enduring.  We want to purchase a small quantity of something of value rather than a multitude of junk.  In doing so, we recognize that there is perceived value in not needing to repurchase the same product over and over again.

We understand that more is not more... it’s just redundancy.

The counter-argument is that by buying less expensive items, we can simply dispose of the item when we’re finished with it as there is very little value in keeping it.

It’s the same movie we’re purchasing regardless if we’re watching the movie at home on Netflix, at a bargain matinee, or at a luxury theater with service people bringing refreshments directly to your seat.

9)   Thought - (thôt) - v. - The process or power of thinking; a body of ideas

Thinking is a way of processing ideas.  However before ideas are formulated, it all begins with dreaming and imagining things... not as they are... but rather as they could be.

We solve problems (or sometimes even create problems) by taking what is present and providing ways to get from one place to another.

10)  Trust - (trǔst) - v. - To rely or depend (on); have confidence (in)

Although love is extremely important... trust is even more so.

Love is unconditional... someone or something doesn’t need to do anything reciprocally in order to be loved (think of a new born baby who is incapable of doing anything... yet its parents love the baby nonetheless).

Trust on the other hand is highly conditional and earned over a period of time.

Trust can be revoked at any time whereas love tends to be enduring.

We can love someone without really trusting them explicitly (most teenage children are good examples of this).
- - -

Using words and language to communicate and express ourselves has been with us since the beginning of time and helps to separate us from other creatures on this earth.

There are approximately 6,500 different languages spoken around the world, each made up of its own particular alphabet, sounds, syntax and structure.

Words have different meanings to even those who speak the same language.

Today I offer you just ten words to ponder this next week...

Thank you very much for your support of OptiFuse where we try to effectively communicate with our customers...

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