“Lift your head a little higher,
Spread the love like fire,
Hope will fall like rain,
When you speak life with the words you say.
Raise your thoughts a little higher,
Use your words to inspire,
Joy will fall like rain,
When you speak life with the things you say…
So speak Life, speak Life.
To the deadest darkest night.
Speak life, speak Life.
When the sun won’t shine and you don’t know why.
Look into the eyes of the brokenhearted;
Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope,
You speak love, you speak…”
~ Artist: Tobymac; Song: Speak Life
I love this song by Tobymac. He encourages something that is so powerful. As a society and as individuals, it seems that we so often forget how powerful words can be. The smallest bit of hope or encouragement could save a life, and the slightest bit of aggression or malice could kill. We are relational beings. Whether we intend it or not, we naturally have a desire to be accepted and loved. No matter how many times we tell ourselves we don’t care what others think, there is always a small part that does care. Sometimes we care more what people think who are closer to us than those who aren’t, but people generally feel good when they are admired and cared about, and generally feel bad when they are attacked, unappreciated or devalued.
The words we speak can play a big role in success and opportunities available in our own lives. A wonderful book called, “The Noticer” by Andy Andrews brings up an excellent point when he asks the question, “where do opportunities come from?” The answer in the book, with which I agree, is that opportunities come from people. So, the best way to increase the amount of opportunities for anything in your life is to increase the ability to make people want to be around you. People don’t want to be around a “negative Nancy,” or anyone who is generally bitter, depressing, arrogant, or a bully. Who would offer someone like that a job, or trust them with money or responsibilities? Who would want to be kind to them knowing that they are not a kind person themselves? Of course, in my faith, I know I am called to be kind regardless, but I would not offer someone like that the same level of trust or opportunities that I would give to someone who demonstrated a heart for others, humility and willingness to work and keep their word.
How a person speaks says a lot about them. People deduce all the time from the way people present themselves and structure their words, both in writing and in speaking, what level of education, experience, heart and intentions people have. Especially employers or people seeking help for certain positions or rewards, they won’t give good things to some Joe Shmo who doesn’t seem like he cares enough about himself or those around him to learn to speak well and put effort into how he presents himself. Charisma plays a big role too. People are attracted to energy. If your tone, the way you carry yourself and the way you look at, speak with, and treat other people is full of positive energy, encouragement, joy and LIFE, people will want to be around you everywhere you go! If people WANT to be around you, they are more likely to invite you places, offer you things, and provide opportunities for advancement. They need to see that you want it, and that you are willing to work for it, and help others along the way. Humility is key, especially in the beginning.
Whether you are applying for a job, or listening to a friend’s troubles, humility will get you far. If you come across as arrogant or apathetic toward other people and what they care about, they won’t come to you anymore and you will be left out. If you come across as thinking their issues are not important, think your too good to do a task they’ve asked, or think you’ve been through something much more worth admiration or pity, people will not want to be around you. Realize what is important to them in that moment and acknowledge it as important. Give encouragement and if you have a suggestion to offer, ask them first if they would like to hear it. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
If you want to increase true life, joy and opportunities in your own life, then speak life into other people around you, everywhere you go! Whether you like them or not. The right people will notice, and those are the one’s you want to notice!
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