Amazingly, this Yale economist has researched the effect of your language on your economic status. And he’s got some amazing data.
…Your language counts for a lot!
I am big on languaging in my trainings,and now I think I’ll be looking at tense a fair bit more.
Do you think that consciously playing with the tenses that you use can make a difference in your life?
I studied with a pretty cool conscious language expert one time, and got in a few languaging habits which I like to think make a difference in my life. I’d like to share a few of them with you here.
First: Think as highly as possible of yourself and others. “Language” yourself to EXPECT change ; if you simply must refer to a habit or behavior that they (or you) have exhibited in the past that you would like to see change, be really conscious to refer to that behavior as “In the past”. For example, instead of saying “my sister always ends up being late” , say “in the past, my sister was challenged to be on time.” Little changes in the tense and and positive of negative focus of a sentence like this can make a big difference. Your unconscious brain will slowly start picking up interesting new programming when you change your language. In this example, not only does the second sentence imply that you can foresee a time in the present and the future where your sister’s behavior will change, but also that, instead of “being late”, you are focusing instead on being “on time” – so implicitly drawing the mind’s attention away from lateness and toward timely promptness.
Pretty cool stuff, huh?
In other words, with a bit of attention and reprogramming, you can MAKE your languaging more or less tense- specific. Chen figures, in the TED talk above, that the less your languaging forces you to discern between the present and future, the more you can live in your outcomes, and delay gratification. I would like to add this idea: The English language is an amazing tool, because it is so versatile. We have the ability, with a little conscious practice, to begin using our language in a more outcome-causing way, with outcome-supportive tenses. What do YOU think?