I was listening to a coach the other day saying that he hated the word “mindset”.
He didn’t explain why, and left his listeners with no idea why either.
Language is powerful. There are words that can lift us or bury us.
We are affected not just by the words used, but how they’re spoken.
That's what interpretation is about.
Our moods, our beliefs, our experiences of life, can give meanings to words that will be different to someone else's.
Most of us tend to speak as we think. Sometimes that can be very unhelpful.
We’re so keen to make our point that the words tumble out before we’ve had time to formulate them into a coherent sentence, or be aware of how they might sound to a listener
That’s when we can land ourselves in trouble. I imagine we’ve all experienced the feeling at times, when we hear ourselves speaking, and as the words fall into place, we listen to ourselves in wonder.
And then we find ourselves following up with “What I mean is…“, “That is to say…“, “You know what I mean…“. And of course it’s highly unlikely that anyone does know.
And that’s why it’s important for all of us to take time, consider what we're saying, and give ourselves time to choose helpful, simple, meaningful words.
And not always an easy one to fill. In any communication with our fellow humans, it's a simple expedient to consider how we sound. Being irritated by a missed phone call, an elusive parking spot, a traffic delay, can convey itself into an unintended tone, pitch and impression that undermine the best of intentions.
As an exercise in awareness, even if it doesn’t result in perfect communication, it may often give the necessary pause for thought that does prevent disaster.
This is one of the great benefits of regular meditation.
The body, how it feels, the very physical experience of our existence, tends to become more comfortable, easy, less fazed. The mind becomes more quiet, calm, composed.
Meditating, or relaxing the mind, or doing a structured mindful exercise, frequently, usually results in a more comfortable body, and a clear mind.
And one of the benefits, just one of them, is how you may find, as you begin to get the habit, that your response to life's tribulations becomes less abrasive, and more effective.
But that assumes practice.