Allah (SWT) the Exalted says in Noble Qur'an: "O you who believe! Be careful of (your duty to) Allah and speak the right word." (33:70) I remember my dad teaching me the power of language at a very young age. Not only did my dad understand that specific words affect our mental pictures, but he understood words are a powerful programming factor in lifelong success. One particularly interesting event occurred when I was eight. As a kid, I was always climbing trees, poles, and literally hanging around upside down from the rafters of our lake house. So, it came to no surprise for my dad to find me at the top of a 30-foot tree swinging back and forth. My little eight-year-old brain didn't realize the tree could break or I could get hurt. I just thought it was fun to be up so high. My older cousin, Tammy, was also in the same tree. She was hanging on the first big limb, about ten feet below me. Tammy's mother also noticed us at the exact time my dad did. About that time a huge gust of wind came over the tree. I could hear the leaves start to rattle and the tree begin to sway. I remember my dad's voice over the wind yell, "Bart, Hold on tightly." So I did. The next thing I know, I heard Tammy screaming at the top of her lungs, laying flat on the ground. She had fallen out of the tree. I scampered down the tree to safety. My dad later told me why she fell and I did not. Apparently, when Tammy's mother felt the gust of wind, she yelled out, "Tammy, don't fall!" And Tammy did fall. My dad then explained to me that the mind has a very difficult time processing a negative image. In fact, people who rely on internal pictures cannot see a negative at all. In order for Tammy to process the command of not falling, her nine-year-old brain had to first imagine falling, then try to tell the brain not to do what it just imagined. Whereas, my eight-year-old brain instantly had an internal image of me hanging on tightly. This concept is especially useful when you are attempting to break a habit or set a goal. You can't visualize not doing something. The only way to properly visualize not doing something is to actually find a word for what you want to do and visualize that. For example, when I was thirteen years old, I played for my junior high school football team. I tried so hard to be good, but I just couldn't get it together at that age. I remember hearing the words run through my head as I was running out for a pass, "Don't drop it!" Naturally, I dropped the ball. My coaches were not skilled enough to teach us proper "Self-Talk." They just thought some kids could catch and others couldn't. I'll never make it pro, but I'm now a pretty good Sunday afternoon football player, because all my internal dialogue is positive and encourages me to win. I wish my dad had coached me playing football instead of just climbing trees. I might have had a longer football career. Here is a very easy demonstration to teach your kids and your friends the power of a toxic vocabulary. Ask them to hold a pen or pencil. Hand it to them. Now, follow my instructions carefully. Say to them, "Okay, try to drop the pencil." Observe what they do. Most people release their hands and watch the pencil hit the floor. You respond, "You weren't paying attention. I said TRY to drop the pencil. Now please do it again." Most people then pick up the pencil and pretend to be in excruciating pain while their hand tries but fails to drop the pencil. The point is made. If you tell your brain you will "give it a try," you are actually telling your brain to fail. I have a "no try" rule in my house and with everyone I interact with. Either people will do it or they won't. Either they will be at the party or they won't. I'm brutal when people attempt to lie to me by using the word try. Do they think I don't know they are really telegraphing to the world they have no intention of doing it but they want me to give them brownie points for pretended effort? You will never hear the words "I'll try" come out of my mouth unless I'm teaching this concept in a seminar. If you "try" and do something, your unconscious mind has permission not to succeed. If I truly can't make a decision I will tell the truth. "Sorry John. I'm not sure if I will be at your party or not. I've got an outstanding commitment. If that falls through, I will be here, Insha Allah. Otherwise, I will not. Thanks for the invite." People respect honesty. So remove the word "try" from your vocabulary. My dad also told me that psychologists claim it takes seventeen positive statements to offset one negative statement. I have no idea if it is true, but the logic holds true. It might take up to seventeen compliments to offset the emotional damage of one harsh criticism. These are concepts that are especially useful when raising children. Ask yourself how many compliments you give yourself daily versus how many criticisms. Heck, I know you are talking to yourself all day long. We all have internal voices that give us direction. So, are you giving yourself the 17:1 ratio or are you short changing yourself with toxic self-talk like, "I'm fat. Nobody will like me. I'll try this diet. I'm not good enough. I'm so stupid. I'm broke, etc. etc." If our parents can set a lifetime of programming with one wrong statement, imagine the kind of programming you are doing on a daily basis with your own internal dialogue. Here is a list of Toxic Vocabulary words. Notice when you or other people use them.
BUT: Negates any words that are stated before it.
TRY: Presupposes failure.
IF: Presupposes that you may not.
MIGHT: It does nothing definite. It leaves options for your listener.
WOULD HAVE: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen.
SHOULD HAVE: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen (and implies guilt.)
COULD HAVE: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen but the person tries to take credit as if it did happen.
CAN'T/DON'T: These words force the listener to focus on exactly the opposite of what you want. This is a classic mistake that parents and coaches make without knowing the damage of this linguistic error.
Toxic phrase: "Don't drop the ball!"
Likely result: Drops the ball
Better language: "Catch the ball!"
Toxic phrase: "You shouldn't watch so much television."
Likely result: Watches more television.
Better language: "I read too much television makes people stupid. You might find yourself turning that TV off and picking up one of those books more often!"
Take a moment to write down all the phrases you use on a daily basis or any Toxic Self-Talk that you have noticed yourself using. Write these phrases down so you will begin to catch yourself as they occur and change them.
Forge a positive relationship with the world around you and the world will become a better place for you to live. And remember: Make positive Self-Talk a daily practice. By: Ralph Marston
A man was lost while driving through the countryside. As he tried to reach for the map, he accidentally drove off the road into a ditch. Though he wasn't injured, his car was stuck deep in the mud. So the man walked to a nearby farm to ask for help. "Warwick can get you out of that ditch," said the farmer, pointing to an old mule standing in a field. The man looked at the decrepit old mule and looked at the farmer who just stood there repeating, "Yep, old Warwick can do the job." The man figured he had nothing to lose. The two men and the mule made their way back to the ditch. The farmer hitched the mule to the car. With a snap of the reins, he shouted, "Pull, Fred! Pull, Jack! Pull, Ted! Pull, Warwick!" And the mule pulled that car right out of the ditch. The man was amazed. He thanked the farmer, patted the mule, and asked, "Why did you call out all of those names before you called Warwick?" The farmer grinned and said, "Old Warwick is just about blind. As long as he believes he's part of a team, he doesn't mind pulling."
Keep your words positive, because your words become your actions.
Keep your actions positive, because your actions become your habits.
Keep your habits positive, because your habits become your lifestyle.
Keep your lifestyle positive, because your lifestyle becomes your destiny.
A group of frogs were hopping contentedly through the woods, going about their froggy business, when two of them fell into a deep pit. All of the other frogs gathered around the pit to see what could be done to help their companions. When they saw how deep the pit was, the rest of the dismayed group agreed that it was hopeless and told the two frogs in the pit that they should prepare themselves for their fate, because they were as good as dead. Unwilling to accept this terrible fate, the two frogs began to jump with all of their might. Some of the frogs shouted into the pit that it was hopeless, and that the two frogs wouldn't be in that situation if they had been more careful, more obedient to the froggy rules, and more responsible. The other frogs continued sorrowfully shouting that they should save their energy and give up, since they were already as good as dead. The two frogs continued jumping as hard as they could, and after several hours of desperate effort were quite weary. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to the calls of his fellows. Spent and disheartened, he quietly resolved himself to his fate, lay down at the bottom of the pit, and died as the others looked on in helpless grief. The other frog continued to jump with every ounce of energy he had, although his body was wracked with pain and he was completely exhausted. His companions began a new, yelling for him to accept his fate, stop the pain and just die. The weary frog jumped harder and harder and - wonder of wonders! Finally leapt so high that he sprang from the pit. Amazed, the other frogs celebrated his miraculous freedom and then gathering around him asked, "Why did you continue jumping when we told you it was impossible?" Reading their lips, the astonished frog explained to them that he was deaf, and that when he saw their gestures and shouting, he thought they were cheering him on. What he had perceived as encouragement inspired him to try harder and to succeed against all odds. This simple Frog story contains a powerful lesson. Your encouraging or positive words can lift someone up and help him or her make it through the day. Your destructive or negative words can cause deep wounds; they may be the weapons that destroy someone's desire to continue trying - or even their life. Your destructive, careless word can diminish someone in the eyes of others, destroy their influence and have a lasting impact on the way others respond to them. It is narrated that the Holy Prophet Mohammad (saw) has said: "Affliction caused by the tongue is worse than (that caused by) the strike of the blade of a sword."
A teenager lived alone with his father, and the two of them had a very special relationship. The father believed in encouragement. Even though the son was always on the bench, his father was always in the stands cheering. He never missed a game. This young man was the smallest of the class when he entered high school. His father continued to encourage him but also made it very clear that he did not have to play football if he didn't want to. But the young man loved football and decided to hang in there. He was determined to try his best at every practice, and perhaps he would get to play when he became a senior. All through high school he never missed a practice or a game, but remained a bench warmer all four years. His faithful father was always in the stands, always with words of encouragement for him. When the young man went to college, he decided to try out for the football team as a "walk-on." Everyone was sure he could never make the cut, but he did. The coach admitted that he kept him on the roster because he always puts his heart and soul to every practice, and at the same time, provided the other members with the spirit and hustle they badly needed. The news that he had survived the cut thrilled him so much that he rushed to the nearest phone and called his father. His father shared his excitement and was sent season tickets for all the college games. This persistent young athlete never missed practice during his four years at college, but he never got to play in the game. It was the end of his senior football season, and as he trotted onto the practice field shortly before the big play off game, the coach met him with a telegram. The young man read the telegram and he became deathly silent. Swallowing hard, he mumbled to the coach, "My father died this morning. Is it all right if I miss practice today?" The coach put his arm gently around his shoulder and said, "Take the rest of the week off, son. And don't even plan to come back to the game on Saturday." Saturday arrived, and the game was not going well. In the third quarter, when the team was ten points behind, a silent young man quietly slipped into the empty locker room and put on his football gear. As he ran onto the sidelines, the coach and his players were astounded to see their faithful team-mate back so soon. "Coach, please let me play. I have just got to play today," said the young man. The coach pretended not to hear him. There was no way he wanted his worst player in this close playoff game. But the young man persisted, and finally feeling sorry for young man, the coach gave in. "All right," he said. "You can go in." Before long, the coach, the players and everyone in the stands could not believe their eyes. This little unknown, who had never played before, was doing everything right. The opposing team could not stop him. He ran, he passed, blocked and tackled like a star. His team began to triumph. The score was soon tied. In the closing seconds of the game, this young man intercepted a pass and ran all the way for the winning touchdown. The fans broke loose. His team-mates hoisted him onto their shoulders. Such cheering you have never heard! Finally, after the stands had emptied and the team had showered and left the locker room, the coach noticed that the young man was sitting quietly in the corner all alone. The coach came to him and said, "Young man, I can't believe it. You were fantastic! Tell me what got into you? How did you do it?" Young man looked at the coach, with tears in his eyes, and said, "Well, you knew my dad died, but did you know that my dad was blind?" The young man swallowed hard and forced a smile, "Dad came to all my games, but today was the first time he could see me play, and I wanted to show him I could do it!" Remember:
"Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try."
"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all."
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."
A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a dollar twenty ($20) bill, in the room of two hundred (200) people. Speaker asked, "Who would like this dollar twenty ($20) bill?" Hands started going up. Speaker said, "I am going to give this dollar twenty ($20) bill to one of you but first, let me do this." He proceeded to crumple up the dollar twenty ($20) bill. He asked, "Who still wants it?" Still hands were up in the air. "Well, what if I do this?" He dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty and asked, "Who still wants it?" Still hands went up into the air. My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what was done to the money, it was still wanted because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth dollar twenty ($20). Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We may feel as though we are worthless and useless. But no matter what has happened or will happen, you will never lose your value: dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who love you.