Powerful words change lives


Ever wondered how powerful words can be? Well let me tell you a heart warming story to emphasise something I believe to be true.

Not long ago I had lunch with a group of old friends. Nothing unusual about that, you might say. Even the fact that it was the first time we’d all been together in the same place, at the same time since the summer of 1979 was not exceptional. Such reunions happen all the time. Nevertheless it was a pleasure to see them all again and swap stories about how our lives have progressed since those far off days. It is the story of one of my friends that to me is a source of inspiration and reinforces the importance of how powerful words can be.

Back in those distant days, we were all working together for the national telecommunications operator in Bahrain. Three of us were graduate engineers on an upward trajectory, with the future seemingly ours for the taking. And one, let’s call him Saeed, was simply the handyman and tea boy in the department.

Saeed was then a teenager, straight out of school. He was a bright and willing fellow but with absolutely no academic qualifications and he spoke very little English at the time. He came from a poor village and his perceived failure at school had left him feeling that he had blown his chances and was destined for a series of low paid, low skilled jobs.

Fast forward 35 years and Saeed is now every bit the poor-boy-made-good story. Not only is he now a wealthy international businessman with two very successful businesses. He also has a string of qualifications including a PhD. Amazingly he is actually in the process of completing a second doctorate. In short, his success is very impressive by any measure.

So how did Saeed get from where he was to where he is now? The simple answer of course is determination and a lot of hard work. You cannot achieve anything without those ingredients. However he also needed a reason to believe; a spark to light the fire. And that for me is where the story gets interesting.

Over lunch Saeed explained that it was a kind and encouraging word, all those years ago, from one of our fellow diners that had made him believe that he could make a success of his life, despite a poor start. My fellow diner in question, let’s call him Tom, didn’t even remember the conversation. However back in the day it seems Tom had explained to Saeed that your future is not defined by your past, it is an endless stream of opportunities which you can choose to take, or not, and make it whatever you want it to be.

The power of these well-timed words of encouragement had an impact on Saeed so profound that they propelled him down the road to a destiny which otherwise he did not think possible. And in that is the point.

Words can be very powerful, so choose them wisely. A few well-timed words can really inspire young people. Young people need encouragement more than they need critics. Next time you’re working with someone in the early stages of life’s journey, remember your words can have the power to encourage them, as well as discourage them. Never forget how powerful words can be. Better if your words can inspire someone to exceptional achievement. If you want to leave a legacy behind you; it would be hard to improve on that I think.

And if you want to improve your way with words try the Audio CD Word Master: Improve Your Word Power and Improve Your Life! (Your Coach in a Box) by Denis Waitley. I found this very useful, so it might help you too. As always, you can buy it from Amazon.

© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.


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