So, here you are, having chosen your magic word(s) and feeling pleased with your selection. Now what? Time to summon some magic! Here are 5 easy steps to boost your word’s magic – try them all or pick and choose the ones that work for you:
- Make it big so you’ll see it – every day. Type it out on your word processor – and make that sucker as big as your word processor will allow. Use whatever font pleases you most, and, if it’s a wonderfully long word, switch your paper from portrait to landscape mode to print it out. Print it out and post it on your bulletin board or tape it to the bottom of your computer or on your mirror or someplace you’ll see it. Make your word your password – or make it your screensaver. Alternatively the artisans among us can freehand it. Use color, markers, crayons, highlighters or whatever you have on hand to make it lively. Exercise that right brain!
- Get to know your word. Examine the definition in the dictionary. Look at synonyms in a thesaurus (at this point, if you see an even better word, it’s okay to switch – you haven’t made a lifetime commitment). Google your word to see what comes up. What is the essence of your word? (What is its favorite color? ;))
- Personify your word. Think of people – real and fictional – who you feel embody that word. What do they do that illustrates your word? How do they do it? Consider – can you do some of the things they do that embody your word? Consider difficult situations you’ve encountered. How would your word people handle those situations in a way that illustrates your word? For me, the intrepid country mouse sees the enormous cornfield on her way to the big city, takes a deep breath, and tackles the first row of corn, then the second, then the third, until, bit by bit, row by row, she makes it to the other side. The intrepid travelers in the Wizard of Oz are frightened of the wizard’s challenge – to bring back the broom of the Wicked Witch of the West – but they lean on each other to get the task done.
- Adopt your word as your Brand. Think of your word as your brand. If my word is “Truth” – what would that look like on a day-to-day basis? Would I share the truth in my writing and speaking? Would I keep my word to myself and others? Would I acknowledge ugly – and beautiful – truths about myself and others? How about you? If your word is your brand, how would that affect the choices you make about the way you spend your time, the way you treat yourself and others, your attitude at work? What would be the difficult choices and sacrifices that you would make? For example, if my word and brand is “Truth” – will I tell my boss about the problems with his pet project – or will I just smile and accept it with the rest of the crowd (and risk his displeasure)? Will I share my fears and embarrassments (and triumphs and pettiness) with my close friends – or will I maintain the semblance of success at all costs? Also – if my word is my brand, can I incorporate it into my signature/sign-off somehow (either on its own – or as embodied in a wonderful quote or saying)?
- Be your word. Go Nike, just do it. Be your word.
And share! Have you tried this out? How’s it going? Would love to know what everyone’s experiences look like – both successes and failures? (including decisions to change your word!)
and the Truth shall set you free