Words and Favorite Words
Did you know that the average person has approximately 60,000 thoughts per day and 90% of those are repetitive? (Research by Dr. Fred Luskin of Stanford University.) The same thoughts are bouncing around inside our minds all the time.
Did you know that the average woman says around 20,000 words per day and the average man says about 7,000 words per day? (Research by Louann Brizendine, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California in San Francisco.) At the same time, the average person (man or woman) only uses around 1,500-2,000 unique words, so the majority of spoken words are repeated.
We’re talking thousands of repeated words here: the same words are used thousands of times daily, both “internally” in our minds, and “externally” spoken or written. We don’t even notice. At the same time, there are hundreds of thousands of words in any popular language. Some research reports over 2,000,000 words in the English language alone, most of which aren’t used in any way. Some of the less popular words are used for writing and subsequently reading, but we think and talk way more than we read and write.
So, the vast majority of words is simply ignored. That’s not anything terrible, it’s just a fact. And we can use this fact in our favor. You see, each word is important—it means something. Words are bodies of thoughts. There is a boundless ocean of words out there that can belong to you, the endless energy waiting to be explored and utilized. How? Simply give those words the special attention they deserve. Make them your favorites and they will let you use their power. The power of favorite words!
Words are powerful tools we possess: they ignite revolution or defuse tension. The Hebrew word devarim, which means words, also means things. In Jewish culture, the word is material and contains a great power. The Bible says exactly that: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the God. God materialized words into things: And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:3.)
Words aren’t directly material objects or things though. They are more identifiers. The study of the words’ meanings is called semantics. Alfred Korzybski, a Polish-American philosopher and scientist, who developed the theory of general semantics, once wrote that words are more like geographical maps that show certain territories. For example, a lake is shown as a blue spot on the map, not as a drop of water. And a real lake isn’t that blue after all. But the human who is reading the map still recognizes a lake through that blue spot. The same thing happens with mountains or streets. A map is not a territory, but it represents territory through formal scaled images. Our brain contains a vast amount of such maps that reflect reality. Each map is unique depending on the human’s personal experience and views. Each map is a certain word.
There is a whole world behind every word. This ancient story shows how important it is to actually know words and understand them:
In ancient times, somewhere on Earth, a teacher gave his students a book called A Book of Words and asked them to study the meaning of the words while he left for two hours. When he returned, the boys were exclaiming to him how many words they had learned, and only one boy was sitting silent and concentrated on the book in his hands. The teacher approached him and asked how many words the boy learned. The boy answered that he had learned the first word. The teacher was angered by this answer and started shouting at the boy:
“Only one word? How could you learn just one word in two hours?”
“Well, maybe two words,” answered the boy.
That made the teacher even angrier and he started punishing the boy, slamming him with sticks. The boy remained as calm as he could and that put the teacher in doubt. He saw the open book with the first word there: Patience. He stopped punishing the boy and asked him to forgive him. The boy answered:
“You did the right thing, I didn’t fully learn the first word because I was still offended with your punishment while I had to stay patient.”
And then the teacher remembered the second word in the Book of Words: Truth.
There are words and then there are favorite words. Care about these words, appreciate them, don’t waste them, think about them, and share the best of your words with others as your most precious diamonds and emeralds.
It is probably true that people have had their favorite words since the languages were born. People were writing the words they loved on rocks, on jugs, and in papyruses. Emperors and beggars and everyone in between had favorite words. Today, when you ask people what their favorite word is, they’ll answer without much confusion. Even Princeton University asks for your favorite word in their Princeton Supplement.
Any words can become your favorite. You can transform the words from regular to favorite and back. It’s all within your control; choosing the words is an easy and a joyful process.
Favorite words are the ones that you find inspirational, motivational, healing, and powerful. They wake you up, they make you happy, they color your world, and they positively affect your thoughts and feelings. Favorite words are capable of showing you the way out when you are stuck, the way up when you are down, they way forward reaching your life goals. They are keys to unlock your inner code, your own unique power, a force within you.
If life can be compared to a card game where words are cards, then favorite words are your trump cards. And you can have a lot of these, if you know where to look.
So, where do you get the favorite words from exactly? Let’s discuss it next.