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THE POWER OF WORDS AND WRITING | Mindset Mondays


Writing has changed my life. 


I have always liked writing, but I never called myself a writer. Growing up, I liked writing stories in school, and I was a good enough writer in college that my teammates may or may not have paid me to write essays for them.


But it wasn’t until I started my blog that I realized that writing is actually a passion for me, a possible stream of income, a way for me to positively impact the world, and the most important and valuable personal growth tool that I have found.


I started blogging when I was in my early 20s because I struggled to remember and retain the things I was reading. I would read pages and pages and not remember a single word or thought that I had just read, so I started my first blog as a place for me to collect my notes and eventually my own thoughts, theories, and ideas. 10-15 years later, I started making money off that blog, but that was definitely not the best part. 


The best part was what writing did FOR me.


Writing helps me focus, it helps me retain information, it helps me make new connections every day with my past and present, and it helps me design my future.



Dr. Jim Loehr is a sports psychologist. He has worked with 1000s of the best athletes in the world, and the one thing he makes them all do is write (5:03 mark). He has them first write their own story - the story that has them stuck or blocked. He then has them write their new story - the story of who they want to become in life, what they have to do to become it, the barriers that are in their way, and how they plan on overcoming those barriers. He has them do it 6 times over the first 90 days that he works with them. He says our brains are like moldable plastic, and doing this rewires our brains. It is a conditioning activity that trains our brains to actually think the way we need to think to become the people we want to become.


How cool is that? We have the ability to design our lives by taking time every other week and writing out who we want to become.


THE TED TALK ABOUT WRITING



There are a lot of TED talks about the value and great power of writing and the positive impact that writing can have in your life, like journaling to better understand yourself and others, finding your voice, being brave becoming who you are, and as Dr. Jim Loehr says, becoming the author of your own life.


Katie McCleary gave a TEDX Talk titled The Benefits of Writing By Hand that impacted me in a way that has inspired me and others to take writing every day more seriously. 25 years of her research and insights say writing helps you leverage the power of your conscious and unconscious mind in order to be a more intentional and impactful leader.


But you have to write by hand.


Why not write on my phone or computer? They were built for speed and efficiency, and handwriting is slow and messy. Research shows that when you write by hand, you remember and retain information better than when you use technology, and students learn and comprehend information better when writing than when texting or typing.


But maybe more importantly, when you write by hand, you are integrating your whole self - your mind, body, and spirit - like a coach bringing together a group of individuals and transforming them into a cohesive, tight team that thinks and moves together.


Research shows that when we write by hand, we synthesize our thoughts better and make deeper and more quality connections between our outside world and the inside world.

We receive over 11 million bits of information every second of every day, but our minds can only process 40-50 bits of that information.


We lose our focus because we have too much coming at us, so how do we know what matters? What story, what conversation, what feeling, what meeting, and what item on our to-do list matters most?


Our mind manufactures 6,200 thought worms every day - or 4 thought worms every second. We never have one single thought, but a bunch of thoughts that change every second, fighting each other for our attention.


When we write by hand, Katie says we are disrupting the thought-worm explosion in our head as we unconsciously sift through the hundreds and 1000s of thoughts in order to determine what really matters and what doesn’t.


When you are struggling with anything: your thoughts, your work, your relationships, your place on a team, your focus, remembering and retaining something, your to-do list, or anything else… Write.


Setting the timer on your phone for 7 minutes every morning and writing can change your life.


But what if you don’t know what to write?


WRITE WHAT YOU WANT TO FEEL, DO OR BE



Jay Shetty is the host of one of the most popular podcasts in the world. At the 39:20 mark of the interview in the video above, he was asked about his quote: 


Language has created the word loneliness to express the PAIN of being alone, and it has created the word solitude to express the GLORY of being alone.


Jay said, “Language and the way we use words completely define how we think about things. When you hear the word loneliness, you think of sadness, depression, and negativity. When you hear the word solitude, you think of strength, courage, and glory.”


The words we use and how we use them have the power to change our perspective and change our lives. If you see being alone as loneliness, it can bring pain. If you see being alone as solitude, it can bring strength and peace.


We have to be careful with the words we use because every single word is a seed for either a weed or a flower. Saying, “I’m lonely,” over and over again is a threat, but there is strength that comes with saying to yourself, “I’m in solitude.”


Think about the words that come to your mind the moments you wake up and the moments you go to sleep, and make sure those words help you and don’t hurt you. Every morning, before I roll, climb, or fall out of bed, I tell myself, “Today is going to be a great day. Something good is going to happen to me and through me.” I say it over and over again until I start to believe it.


Then write about it. Write what you want to do, who you want to become, and how you want to feel.


Take the time to write. Write out your plan for your day, week, or life. Write what you want to do, who you want to be, and how you want to feel.


SOMETHING(s) TO THINK ABOUT 


1 - What do you want to do? What is a goal that you want to accomplish today, this week, this month, and/or this year?

2 - What do you have to do to accomplish that goal, and how do you have to do it?

3 - Who do you want to become? What kind of a person/leader do you want to become? What do you want the world to say about you?

4 - What are some of the barriers that might get in your way?

5 - What can you do to overcome those barriers?


For a PDF version of this, click here: THE POWER OF WORDS AND WRITING



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