My Story

How I Created Favorite Words

One day, a long time ago on a summer afternoon, I wasn’t feeling well and decided to stay home for the entire day. It was raining outside. Looking through the window, I saw people running in all directions in the rain with and without umbrellas, and they were slopping about in puddles, trying to get under roofs or inside a building as fast as they could. And then I saw a girl.

She looked so fragile and insecure there, and she ran so elegantly and girlishly. I couldn’t describe her as she quickly disappeared around the corner. There was something about her, though—something magical. I didn’t know anything. What was her name? Where did she live? What did she like? The only thing I knew was that she was a girl, a girl I felt something special about.

My blue mood didn’t inspire me to jump from my sofa, run after her, and find her. Being a teenager and thinking about girls 90% of the time, I’d normally do it, but the depression won at that moment. And the girl might have already been well on her way home or on a bus by then. That girl. A girl…

I took a pen and a paper and wrote this word: Girl. I looked at it and started thinking about this word, about its meaning, its associations. I said it a few times out loud with different intonations. I started feeling a bit better just from doing that. I noticed that this one word had changed my mood. The word “Girl” became my favorite word. And then it struck me. What if I make a whole list of favorite words like that. How cool would that be?

I started thinking about other words that I really liked for various reasons and wrote them down. In a few minutes, I had a dozen words, then there were dozens of words, and I stopped. I felt inspired and the bad mood was gone like it had never even happened. I looked back at the top of the list: Girl. Oh, the Girl! I need to find her! She might be around somewhere waiting for me to save her! So I took an umbrella and the door slammed behind me. When I came onto the street, the rain had already stopped and the sun had come on scene. “I love the sunshine,” I thought. “I should add it to my favorite words, oh, and the word lucky, too,” because I was lucky to see her walking towards me.

I didn’t know what to say to grab her attention, so I asked: “What are your favorite words?” She paused, then smiled, and then asked me: “What are yours?” I quickly started itemizing each of my words, one by one, and that really amused her. Then I told her my umbrella was for her. We laughed, became acquainted, and I walked her home. It was an awesome day. Later that day, the words umbrella, sunshine, awesome, and lucky joined others in my list of favorite words.

Today I have a lot of favorite words. Throughout the years I kept them in computer files, notebooks and loose papers. Sadly, many were lost. So I began to imagine somewhere I could keep them safely stored. I thought about a website wherein my words were always safe and easily accessible. I could add to them any time. I thought this site could help my friends and family keep their favorite words, too.

Over time, I found a number of other great benefits of having favorite words. I learned about myself through my favorite words. I brainstormed and meditated with them, improved my vocabulary and felt inspired. Once I came up with the idea that favorite words can also connect like-minded people, I decided to create the online application that helps serve people around the world through their favorite words. This is how the Favorite Words Project was born. You can learn more about it at and I have devoted a separate chapter to it in this book.

I come from my own experience. I tried using my list of favorite words in every aspect discussed in this book. I also asked people around me to play with their favorite words and let me know how it worked for them, and some of the results are just outstanding. It works for me, it works for my friends, and it will work for you.