I spoke at a convention this last week in Long Beach, CA, doing two sessions on redefining the role of a leader. The first session was on listening, your key to extraordinary leadership, and the second was on the spoken word, your access to power. What’s interesting to me is how well people relate to the first topic, on listening, and how much they struggle with the second topic, on the spoken word.
Here’s what’s so difficult to get: there is no such thing as reality! There are over 7 billion people on the planet and they all live in a different reality so how can there possibly be a reality? When I say it that way, it seems to make sense, doesn’t it? Surely we know that everyone has a different perception. But when we try to make this personal, that’s where it gets tricky. Because everyone really believes that their reality is valid. After all, we’re all smart, we have eyes, we can see. How could it possibly be that what we see is not real?
It just isn’t. You don’t see with your eyes, you see with your mind. You take your thoughts, your ideas, your reality, and project them on the blank screen of life. So all you ever “see” is your version of reality. And if you can understand that, you’re half way home.
Here’s what will get you the rest of the way: language is the vehicle by which you create your reality. Every time you open your mouth, you’re speaking into existence your reality, which is why the spoken word is your access to power. When you say something “positive,” you’re creating a positive reality. When you say something “negative,” you’re creating a negative reality. This is challenging when you realize that the average person has about 60,000 thoughts a day, 95% of them are the same thoughts as the day before, and 80% of them are negative. Now be happy!
I go into great detail about how this works in Chapters 6 – 8 of Unshackled Leadership. If you don’t yet have your copy, I recommend you get one today. I’ll end with my favorite section which ends Chapter 8:
“Your tongue is like a paintbrush. Every time you open your mouth, you paint a picture for yourself and everybody around you to live in. As humans, we are usually unconscious of what comes out of our mouths. I’m asking you to stop that. Wake up. Listen to your thoughts and to the words you say. Decide in advance what you will say about everything and everybody. Then start saying that! It will change your world, your life, and the world and lives of all the people around you. Best of all, doing so will put you on the path to being a twenty-first century leader.”