Today I bring you show number 348 and the title is “How have you been programmed?”, and it comes from a talk Zig gave regarding the power of words. His take on it will give you pause, and as you’ll hear me get into…fear and conviction. And inspire the fire out of you. Actually no, it will inspire some fire INTO you!
As we head into the holiday time, I’m thinking about gifts and blessing my family. Christmas time is a huge foundational time for my family of nine. We come together with traditions and love and it’s become a backbone of our family ties. This show has me dwelling on the reality that there is no greater blessing I can give than encouraging, lifting, life giving words. But on the same account, I’m thinking of myself and how much I have been impacted for good and bad by other’s words. For the sake of this show we’re going to talk about how we have all been, to some degree, limited by words. All of us. Even with POSITIVE words! Yes, you heard right.
Speaking of Christmas, I’ve been saying we’d come to you with one of the best Ziglar Christmas offerings ever. First off, it’s best because it’s a gift that will change a life for the better, whether your own, or someone you love and care about. This is your chance to be a hero. To give a gift that outshines anything else, because it’s a gift that says, “I care about you enough to invest in your life. I believe in you. I’m here to make you great". So here it is. It is literally the best savings Ziglar has ever offered, on their best resources. All you need to do is grab your phone and text ZIGLAR to this number: 38470. You’ll get the special Christmas deal link almost immediately. Type in this number, 38470, then in the text message, type in Z I G L A R and hit send. Boom, you’ll get the link. It will also give you the chance to sign up for our newsletter and receive 5 free gifts, which include Zig’s “The Little Book of Big Quotes”
Alright, I now have 15 minutes of Zig, on stage, for you, and the show in entirety, with some show notes below:
That message from Zig should give you more than mere food for thought, but if you’re like me, some fear and conviction. Fear of what negative words you may have given others, and conviction to be intentional about building people up with your words.
But also fear of what negative or confining words you’ve been given over your lifetime, that you’ve allowed to shape and limit you. This is what we’re going to dig into now.
Zig cites the statement, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Which is true. As a marketing and communication professional, I adore words. Recently my Dad’s friend, Michael Hyatt, posted on instagram, a quote by Pat Conroy that says, “Writing is the only way I have to explain my own life to myself.” I love that, it’s me to the T.
But out in the marketplace I’m keenly aware that in order to get people to read my words, I must entice them in visually. Graphically. A picture says a thousand words and leads you in to where you’ll accept the most important spoken or written words. Pictures convey ideals and feelings. A picture can convey and communicate beauty. But it can’t tell you you’re beautiful. It can’t tell you you’re smart or strong or worthy or loved. That comes from a human spoken and written word. Words build up and break down more effectively than any other tool.
Today you are thriving from, or striving to survive in spite of words. Primarily words from those you respect, and those you know intimately. I add that last part, because there are people close to us in our lives who we may not ultimately respect, but who we have a lot of context with…enough so what they say about us matters.
Think of someone who has hurt or angered you with their words. It wouldn’t bother you at all, if it didn’t matter.
Zig shares about a Dr. Carter, who said “I have never worked with an abuse situation, that didn’t follow a pattern of verbal abuse before physical abuse.” And additionally, "The more one cusses the less sensitive to the nature of their own behavior they become.”
To the first of what Dr. Carter said, I immediately thought of my marriage. I’m deeply in love with my wife, but I’ll admittedly tell you our marriage is anything but smooth sailing. We are both pretty hard driving, strong willed people. We have high highs and low lows. My greatest relational conflict in life has been with her. In regard to this statement, I had to agree. Now we’ve never physically abused each other of course, but any significant conflict has come after a cascade of…words. Defensive words, confused words, ill-thought out words, selfish words.
Again, it just rings true that so many bad circumstances are instigated by…words. To what he says about cussing, I don’t think the point is to finagle about curse words in and of themselves so much as the spirit behind them.
- I was interested in what Zig referenced from the Bible where it says, “though shalt not curse a deaf man” and Zig says it’s obviously because of the danger it does to you
- I had to look this up, You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God Leviticus 19:14
Now, Zig might have taken this a bit out of context, but it was brilliantly worth it.
- again, don’t get caught up in cursing. It’s not the letter of the law, but the spirit. When we speak harshly to others or even ourselves, it erodes our own peace and wellness.
Next in Zig’s message he mentions that he works to speak adult language. The language of maturity and health. Words like:
And 4-letter words like:
And even the F-word:
This called me back to Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote that convicted me long ago, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” I’ve had a chip on my shoulder about “People Magazine” every since. At the revolutionary medical practice I’m involved in here in Colorado, I literally had People magazine removed from the offices and replaced with Outdoor mag, Runners and skiing magazines, national geographic and nutritional health books.
In regards to Zig’s powerful words, think about this. Years ago someone came out with Wordle, which is described as a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.
I’ve used these in events and even with my family. I’ve taken blogs and articles I wrote and input them, to see what the prominent words are. It’s really interesting. You can take any text you can cut and paste in, and see what rises to the surface.
I’ve wondered what would rise if I took my personal journal, which I can’t cause I hand write.
But for this topic here, what about if all you spoke over a day or a week were input. What words would rise to the surface? Positive, negative, hopeful, despairing, uplifting, degrading? Would Zig’s words be in there at all?
If not, maybe these are words to write out and start finding opportunity…MAKING opportunity, to start speaking. Speaking the words of a great mind!
Now this quote from Zig, if you’ve been listening long, you’ve heard, “The most important opinion you have is the opinion you have of yourself.”
And the quote he gave from St Augustine is tremendous:
Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without a thought.
And Zig ads, “God’s most amazing creation”
Now again folks, this is NOT narcissistic. It’s not saying, “Hey, I’m just all that! I’m the stuff!” But it’s recognizing that you were endowed with greatness and recognizing it. Being humble, but not weak. Being gracious and lifting others above yourself, but also recognizing your glory.
If you were going to hire a coach or a consultant, and you went to their website and one said, I’m pretty good. I’ve had some successes here and there, but I just do the best I can”, and the other said, “In my area of expertise, I have a proven track record of success. It’s my passion and I’ve devoted myself to mastering it and I can help you!”
Of course you’d go to the latter.
So how do you communicate yourself to others? I’ve really taken this to heart. I’ll readily poke fun at and admit my weak areas, and there are a lot! But I also have some staunch areas where I flat out know I’m good! Great even! Who would it serve for me to downplay and minimize this?
This is something significant to grapple with personally. It truly is. You must, in humility, state and walk in your competency and glory. That’s an entire podcast in and of itself.
Now this story Zig shared next…holy moly. I’ve never heard it. It makes complete sense, but is just mind-blowing in the reality of it.
The story of the African tribe named according to the day of the week they were born
- wednesday was after mean, quick tempered and such
- 50% of crimes committed were from those born on Wednesday
- so it’s not their actual nature, it’s there labeled nature
In Show 339, “You are what you’re told you are”
- how much of what you are today is what you naturally are…as unto God. Your literal, true, unadulterated nature?
- and how much is preprogrammed from early labels?
Folks, I think the truth is…we have no idea. Being fully who we are naturally is like hoping a kid today can be born without pesticides and chemicals already in them. It’s impossible.
For some people, this could be THE most profound revelation and realization they have, or will ever…hear.
Chances are 99% that you are today, right now, living in and under some labels and perceptions that are not true to who you really are. They were artificially applied by others and circumstances and and have stuck.
And I’m not just talking about bad things.
Folks, I had a wonderful childhood. My parents were better than any others I’ve ever experienced. They gave me support and encouragement and roots and wings. Everything that in my best maturity and intellect would want to give a child.
They made me feel like superman! And you know what, it was a limiting label. Ridiculous but true! I thought I was superman. I was pretty darn arrogant. And I couldn’t handle weakness. And since I’m actually NOT superman, and I am weak, I’m not well able to accommodate my own faults nor those of others.
Story of Muhammad Ali
Just before takeoff on an airplane flight, the stewardess reminded Ali to fasten his seat belt. "Superman don't need no seat belt," replied Ali.
"Superman don't need no airplane either," retorted the stewardess.
Any label can possibly debilitate.
As a parent, I greatly fear this. I want to encourage my kids. So if they run a race and win, do I applaud them for winning? Well, goodness, how can I not. But I try to applaud them for doing their best. Trying hard. Literally, that’s my rally. To get them to work hard and do their best.
But I am absolutely, to the best of my knowledge and intellect and love and intent, going to cause my kids some problems with words and perspectives I’ve given them. It’s impossible not to. My best defense is making them aware of it!
The overall point here though, is it’s impossible to come away scot free from labels that will confine or limit us in some way. They will limit us to underperforming, or over performing.
It’s impossible to get through your upbringing without this reality, whether from
- or any number of influences.
So today, we have the responsibility and opportunity, to do our best to divest ourselves of unreasonable, unfair, unattainable…labels. Words. Powerful words.
And we have the responsibility and opportunity to give others roots and wings of words, and help save them from hurtful, limiting, degrading and demoralizing words.
It’s enough to make us almost afraid to speak! At least me.
What has been planted in your mind?
Remember Zigs stories of the
- a prisoner
- a major leaguer
Both became what they were labeled as.
What has been planted in your mind…What are you planting in others’ minds?
Folks, this is all…daunting. Isn’t it. The best strategy? Focus on and fill yourself with, as Zig cites in this message:
- the good,
- the clean,
- the pure,
- the positive
You can’t be perfect, but you can daily be…perfecting.
This is the point. Let’s get reality on the table, and be working daily…making daily deposits, changing our habits, to be perfecting ourselves the best we can.
And for today’s show let’s take captive the power of words. Those that have been given to us, and those we give to others.
Thank you for spending this time with me folks. I’ll be back with you in the next, Ziglar show.