Power in Words

I work at Starbucks. It is a unique place. I believe they understand the power of words. There is a reason we are called partners and not employees. It represents the value of identity as a team member. Rather than a hired sword, we are part of the army. Fighting, I hope, on the basis of shared values, belief in our mission, and a common goal.

This morning as I contemplated a work in progress and the inevitable challenges ahead, I knew there would be areas I needed to “fix”. Riding on the tail of that word, fix, a voice calmly said, “But it isn’t broken.” Those words stopped me in my tracks. A better word existed for the work ahead. A work that was not broken, but neither was it perfect. It needed to be “refined”.  Refining is a process. It means “… to make more fine, subtle, or precise.” What a powerful word to approach a work in progress, a work that has yet to realize its full potential. Immediately, my own optimism for the work grew in strength, and with it, my hope for the future of this project. There is power in the words we use.

It makes me wonder what other words I use unthinkingly. Which words can I replace to be a source of encouragement and inspiration? Which words can I use to portray a more accurate representation of my values and hopes? Which words help me envision the future and keep taking steps forward?

Why don’t you ask these questions yourself? Maybe you’ll find a simple change that sets the stage for a “refining” work in your own life.



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