If there was an alcoholic's anonymous equivalent for obsessively success driven people, I would probably require a lifetime membership. To be fair to myself, I wasn't always that way. Growing up I was far more focused on varsity sports,video games, and going fishing with my brother at the local farms and along the side of the Mohawk River. It was a time where I allowed myself the time and space to play.
More Poison Being Spread Faster: An interesting post on the web today at Huffington Post entitled As Internet Use Grows, Is It Polarizing Political Views? It could be more aptly titled "As Internet Use Grows, More Poison Being Spread Faster?" Gossip is black magic, a poisonous use of our powerful words to create more illusions that have little or no basis in reality. It reminds me of a (probably fictional) story I heard a few years back about the negative power of gossip.
Discovering a lump on someone's body can be terrifying because of all the cancer horror stories one hears about anecdotally. We recently had such an experience with Linus, or 85 pound doggy, when it was revealed to us that he had a weird looking growth between his 4th and 5th digits on his right front paw. At first it looked benign, but it kept growing and looking more insidious each day. So my wife and I had it removed as soon as we could.
Boundaries can be very useful. Example: when my wife and I moved into our new place, the fence in our backyard provided our Dog Linus with a great play area that didn't require constant supervision or the use of a leash. This gave me peace of mind, a break from having to take long walks, and the ability to just sit out and enjoy a book while he could entertain himself by chasing the birds and squirrels.
Several years ago, my brother had a vision to create a clothing company based on feeling good: both in terms of the fabric (more breathable than cotton) and an attitude (focus on the good in life). While the business itself never took off due some business management trip ups, people LOVED the logo. In the last 10 years, I think only my wife has ever noticed and commented on the shirts I've worn. Yet feel good shirts? Strangers in planes, clerks at best buy, an inventory person at Barnes and Noble, people on the street—all types of people have at least found it interesting or cool enough to warrant a mention.
GTD and Renegotiating Agreements: As you may or may not have noticed, there was no previously promised post on my 30 day journey through each one of The Four Agreements. Honestly, I was inspired to write something else. Have I failed my goal just 4 days in? Not at all! It was an intentional act to learn one of the key lessons of being impeccable with ones words; a lesson that I wish to share now.
The meme potential is particularly pervasive in our success-driven society. A bright young kid has "a lot of potential"; a kid that struggles isn't "living up to his potential"; a business venture is "potentially lucrative." We live in potentials like we live in hopes and dreams, praying to turn them into tomorrow's actuals and realizations.
Words by Omission: I'm learning that being impeccable with one's words has many facets. First there is clearly the spoken word; what is audibly said to those around you. Then there is the internal part; that which is thought in one's head, particularly about oneself but also about others. Unspoken words can spread just as much poison as they can fester in one's psyche, creating myths and illusions far worse that those spoken.
One of the ways I've used my words against myself is by my intentional and unintentional focus on 'worry words'; the thoughts that creep in to my psyche and replicate themselves until there is no space for words of truth and empowerment. Just this day I was having an amazing morning: very grounded, at peace, and really kicking butt. Then I had a panic moment when I noticed that something was due tomorrow instead of in a week. Immediately my brain went into a fit of haggling, worry, and etc. I immediately felt my energy drain out of my body and my head is a bit foggy.
It might be helpful, before I start detailing my experience, to briefly go over what it means to Be Impeccable With Your Word. The author's synopsis of this agreement (found on the front jacket of the book and the website) is as follows:
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love