Do you know the function of language?

Of all the distinctions of our work, the one we find that people struggle
with the most has to do with the function of language. If you don’t
immediately have an answer to the question: what is the function of
language?, please read on.

In the ordinary course of events, people use language, and think it is its
function, to describe the world as they think it is. In other words, we
open our eyes, see what we see and, without realizing this, think that
what we see is actually there. We think people are the way we see them,
our companies are the way we see them, the economy is the way we see it,
our family members are the way we see them, and on and on.

It’s so bad, if someone sees things differently, has a different point of
view, we often will argue vehemently to try and convince them that they
don’t see things accurately and our point of view is correct. Haven’t you
found yourself doing this?

But the problem is that everyone sees things differently. There are 6.8
billion people on the planet and they ALL live in a different reality.
That’s a fact. With 6.8 billion different versions of reality, how could
it possibly be that any one person’s view of reality is correct? Makes no
sense to think that.

To really understand where I’m going with this, consider the fact that you
do not see with your eyes. Yes your eyes are responsive to light images,
but you do not see with your eyes. You see with your mind. You have a very
elaborate conversation going on within you and that conversation includes
a story about every thing and every body. All you ever do is take that
conversation and project it out onto whatever is in front of you and then
you act on what you see as if it’s the truth. But it’s not the truth, it’s
just a reflection of the story you started with. Another way of saying
that is: it’s not THE truth, it’s YOUR truth.

So when you open your mouth to speak, all you are ever doing is saying out
loud the story that you have already made up about whatever it is you are
speaking about.

If you’ve followed this line of reasoning so far, all you have to do is
add 2 plus 2 to get the function of language: which is to CREATE your
reality with. Every time you open your mouth, you are not describing
what’s there, you are creating your version of what’s there. Nothing you
ever say is THE truth, it’s only YOUR truth and it’s YOUR truth because
you just said it.

I really invite you to grapple with this one until we speak again. There’s
a great line in Unshackled Leadership that says: your tongue is like a
paintbrush. As humans, we are usually pretty unconscious of what comes out
of our mouths. I’m asking you to stop that. Wake up. Listen to your
thoughts and what comes out of your mouth. If it’s not empowering and
inspiring to you and everyone around you, don’t say it. If you take this
on seriously, I promise it will make a huge difference in not only your
life, but in the lives of all the people around you.

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