Mind your words!

by Deepak Chopra
“‘Words are, of course, the most powerful drug
used by mankind”- Rudyard Kipling.
We are all aware of the influence of choice of
words. Our words can put someone on the pedestal
and make their day. Or puncture someone’s ego and
trigger a verbal duel. Whip up emotions amongst
the masses to effect change. Spearhead a campaign
for support. Unleash the brute force of the army
against an enemy. Disturb communal harmony creating
social upheavals. Make your dearest friend a
foe. Break the heart of your beloved and end your
love story. Make you win boardroom battles. Garner
votes for your political parties. Words chosen by the
leaders have shaped the nations we all live in. Such
is the power of words.
If words are capable of doing all the above, imagine
the effect they will have when you direct them
towards yourself. They can shape the course of your
destiny. The same words can strengthen your spirits,
embolden you and coerce you into action and hence
seek greater richness from this gift we call life.
Our emotions, sentiments and feelings as well as
experiences are all expressed in words. Words that
you choose to communicate with yourself have a
great impact on your psyche and therefore your
experiences i.e. how you think, how you feel and
how you live.
Consider this response to an experience. It was
“okay”, “good”, “fine”. Now let us choose words
like “It was spectacular” , “ mind blowing”, “ outrageous”.
The very use of such words in the latter
response boosts our positive state of mind by several
How often we all use the word “depressed” to
express our mood or state of mind. If we replace it by “frustrated”, “curious”,
“peeved” or “dull”, don’t you feel unburdened immediately? There is
so much less pain in your latter choice of words in comparison to using
Other examples of words that we so often use but they have such a disempowering
impact on us are “rejected”, “stressed”, “confused”, “failure”,
“ humiliated”, “insulted”. Corresponding empowering words that we can
replace them with are “unaccepted”, “busy”, “anxious” , “still learning”,
“uncomfortable”, “misunderstood”. You will see that your experience also
changes by selecting mild words.
“Colours fade, temples crumble, empires fall but
wise words endure” – Edward Thorndike. Words can
make us laugh and cry. The music aficionados will
agree with me. The right choice of words not only
prevents us from losing control over ourselves, but
also has an impact on the person you are interacting
So often we all encounter the question “How are
you?” and our stereotyped responses are “Fine,
thank you” for most of us. If we respond by saying
“great” or ‘on top of the world” or “fantastic” it
transforms our state of mind phenomenally, for our
entire body language changes to say those words.
Words live longer than people. Wounds given by
words are deeper than those inflicted by weapons.
So it is all the more imperative to choose your words
cautiously during arguments (sorry, let me choose
a milder word for it, ummm “debate”. It is so much
less intense, no?)
We use words to evaluate our lives. We use words
to counsel ourselves. Right words can serve as an
ice cream on hot chocolate fudge to cool down and
prevent any volcanic eruptions. Words enable us to
pep up ourselves. Our soul speaks a language that is
divine in nature and always tries to tame the monkey
mind. Words can pull you up from the valleys of your
life. Words give you that innate strength to scale new
peaks in life and make you ride waves of success.
Words appear just as a collection of some letters
arranged in a particular order. But their selection
shape our destiny. “A drop of ink may make a million
think” – George Gordon Byron. Hence mind
your words.
Chandigarh based Deepak Chopra is Author of
the books: The Secrets of Success and Mantras for Inner Peace
A must-read book : Guruji – 21 Shades of Divinity: A narrative
of the author’s experiences in his solitude during the lockdown –
of his encounters with different shades of Divinity emerging from
his experiences, observations and emotions in his solitude.
It encapsulates the purity of his devotion. It will inspire all to
come back to it – to rekindle the flame of love and passion for
life, to go a notch deeper into spirituality – with Guruji.

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