Find your word of the year, and follow it
When I was a pouty-faced little girl who was not getting her way (usually about staying home from church), my parents used one line to whip me back into shape.
“You will do this young lady, and you will do it with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.”
I don’t know if the line really worked, or if I even knew what it really meant, but it sure stuck. I knew trouble was on the horizon when they said it. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t repeated it a time or two to the three rascals who belong to me these days.
Word of the year
Fast forward 30 years or so, and I’m on a video conference call with P&P leading lady Jessi Robinson, talking about every little thing we want to do in 2018. Jess has been instrumental in my personal growth this year — infusing me with information that inspires, that educates, that makes me think (she’s a sponge, y’all).
She tells me about having chosen a word of the year in the past. A word that helps her channel her actions, one that informs her decisions. She puts it up in large letters on the chalkboard and looks at it when she needs direction. In times when she is trying to make a decision, she asks herself if that decision is true to her word. It helps. A goal, yes, somewhat? But more of a guiding principle.
And so she says: Maybe this would be helpful for you.
She knows me well already.
Being the word nerd I am, I immediately geek out, of course. I get to choose one word out of ALL THE WORDS. And it’s mine for a whole year. I’ll use it to guide everything I do.
Just as I get ready to start Googling, my parents arrive in my subconscious.
“… with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.”
Now I get it. Because at that very moment, I had both — and I was positively charged for something great.
Such a good word, right? It pumps life into our veins. It means emotion. Personality. Sympathy. Feeling. Affection. (Yes, at this point I’m on the Google.) It’s the “innermost or central part of anything.”
My parents referred to it as the physical organ. But when you put a song in there — a positive attitude — you get happiness, feeling. Courage and enthusiasm. You come to proverbial life.
Since I was a wee-bit pouting on that church pew, I’ve been challenged by my critical thinking nature. I see problems before I see positives. I need to work out the kinks before I give anything a try. While I don’t believe these are bad qualities, they can put me in a negative mindset almost immediately and affect how I approach a situation. I’m now 38, but I’m still learning — any time I approach a situation with “heart,” it’s a much better experience.
So, heart. That’s my word of 2018. I didn’t use a formal process to get find it (though there are lots of online resources to facilitate that), but I know it’s the right one. It will guide and inform my decisions, my attitude, my outlook, my projects.
It will be the central part of anything I do.
P&P helps clients find the right words to craft their brand story, and communicates it to the right audience. If you’re ready to more clearly communicate your business and your values to get better results, let’s chat! We would love to meet with you to discuss your goals.