The power of words

A broken bone can heal, but the wound a word opens can fester forever. Jessamyn West 1902 – 1984 I have some vivid memories from childhood. For instance, when someone would say something mean, insulting or hurtful to me, I’d go to Mother with tears running down my cheeks and look for comfort. And she would always say, “Go tell them that sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you.” I probably heard that saying hundreds of times, and I began using it as a retort when someone said something hurtful to me. I suppose it was a form of …
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Sorry, not sorry

Saying, ‘I’m sorry’ is the same as saying, ‘I apologize.’ Except at a funeral. Demetri Martin 1973 – A few years ago, the shampoo Pantene did a commercial in which women apologized for a variety of common actions: for speaking up in a meeting, for asking a co-worker for an opinion, even for using a shared armrest. The ad highlighted a growing problem, particularly among women: apologizing when you’ve done nothing wrong. It’s understandable to apologize if you’ve acted inappropriately or offended someone. You can even make an argument for apologizing strategically; when dealing with a tricky client, for instance, it …
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The Pillow Test

You become what you give your attention to. Epictetus 55 – 135 A.D. I’m always looking for little things people can do to improve their quality of life. I recently heard of a good exercise from an associate in Dallas; he calls it the pillow test. It’s simple, but it can be very effective over time. As you lay your head down on your pillow each night, ask yourself the following two questions. What am I glad I did today? What do I wish I had done today? These are powerful and thought provoking questions. Think about the things you …
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