It ain’t what you do – it’s the way that you say it…

It has often been claimed that the language we use to describe it, influences the outcomes of something.

There are some people who appear to moan and groan perpetually – their lives are constantly disappointing.

There are others who are eternally (well, in this life anyway) optimistic. They appear to live charmed lives.

However, cause and effect are almost always blurred in these situations and it’s hard to distinguish fact from fantasy. I am not a great believer in the, so-called, ‘law of attraction’ but I do think that the language we use can have an impact on the way in which we see life and therefore how we experience it.

This picture was circulating on Facebook recently. As you can see there are three ‘wisdoms’ that the authors of the site – – consider important. But look closer at the language they are using.

  • Could this be phrased in a way that encourages people to live their lives positively?
  • Couldn’t this be stated in a less negative manner so a few more people actually try it?


For a positive outlooks blog, I think they’ve missed a trick….

What they meant to say was:

Three Simple Guidelines for Life

  1. If you go after what you want, there’s a chance that you’ll get it.
  2. If you ask, then the answer might be YES!
  3. If you want to be in a different place, then you’ve only got to step forwards.

Whatever your affirmations, may they bear fruit.
Best wishes
Graham Wilson


  1. This topic of psycholinguistics deserves attention since research into the effectiveness of several varieties of psychotherapy( even interpretative effectiveness to support free association and gaining confidence to take risks for a fuller and happier life for the introverted analysand) suggests the validity of sensitive and appropriate language for developing the confidence to apply learned social skills.

    I would be delighted to engage in any discussion or collaborative work on this therapeutic topic.

  2. Thanks, Philip.

    It’s a really rich area for work. Did you see the documentary by Michael Mosley on changing the personality last week? You might be interested in the work by Professor Elaine Fox – Rainy Brain Sunny Brain.

    Best wishes

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