I believe each of us are carrying around words in our very being that have been permanently placed there by some unknowing individual along our journey. The words are not likely supportive and may even be hurtful. The positive words may also have an influence, but I think as humans we remember and hold dear to the hurtful ones. In many cases, they can define the very course of our lives.
What am I talking about? I’ll give you two examples from my own personal experience (these are both deeply personal, so let’s keep it between us). Children are incredibly self-unaware. Ask any five-year-old if they are an artist and they will enthusiastically respond with a “yes”. At that age I thought I was a singer. I would sing all the time! Mostly off key and many times with my own words replacing the words I didn’t know. I would sing at every opportunity without any awareness of whether it was good or not until… an adult informed me that I couldn’t carry a tune. Those words have been ruminating around in my brain for close to fifty years. I still am very self-conscious whenever I sing at church and even in the shower (never mind, everyone can sing in the shower). This is one of the reasons I take a certain pride in watching my daughter perform in musical theater and use her God given talents as a singer to entertain others. In some ways, I believe the curse has been lifted and she is the full expression of that.
Another example of words spoken that have stuck with me is when I was first starting out as a professional financial advisor. The person who hired me, the manager at IDS American Express, told me I would never make it in this business. How’s that for a welcome aboard pep talk? Maybe it is some modern, reverse psychology, management technique that he employed to motivate me. I doubt it. That would be giving him too much credit and he was an idiot. Fast forward five years. I was fully launching myself back in my hometown of Traverse City as an advisor and he was managing a used sporting goods store. Ha. Now, more than thirty years later, I have built the manifestation of what I envisioned our wealth management practice to look like. However, I am still hear those words rolling around in the deep recesses of my brain and so maybe I do have to give him credit. Nah. He is an idiot (as I previously mentioned).
What are the words you ruminate on or vice versa? What are the words you have spoken to others that they may be ruminating on? This is a scary proposition to consider, indeed. I am sure I have been someone else’s “idiot” as words have escaped my mouth that I never considered to be indelible; I have raised children, I have coached other’s children, and I have had intimate conversations with hundreds or thousands of people about one of the most private of matters – money.
Words have power. If any of my words to you have been less than helpful, I apologize. I try to be mindful of the influence words may have but at the same time know that I need to be real with people and tell them what they need to hear. That is a fine line, and once again I would like to thank you for allowing me to help guide and speak into your world.