What’s in a word?

3 words 2013

So what’s the big deal about a word? Or two or three?

If it were just any word, I’d agree that it’s not a big deal. But in the case of My Three Words – I have to say it’s a bigger deal than can be imagined.

You see, My Three Words have come to shape my life, my goals, and my attitudes. They become the channel through which I make decisions, and look at the world – my world.

You see, instead of making up lame resolutions that will be broken or forgotten within a couple of weeks, I choose Three Words which shape my world for the next 12 months. I got this idea from Chris Brogan, New York Times bestselling author and owner of Human Business Works, who has encouraged choosing three words for years (read about his words here).

If I’m being honest, the words choose me. I start thinking about them in about October or November, and by the end of the year, 3 have floated to the top as potentially impactful. Of those, usually one makes itself most prominent throughout the year.

For 2013, my words have been JOURNEY, APPRECIATE, DELIGHT (read more here)

JOURNEY has most definitely been the word that flowed in and out of all of my decisions, my actions and my viewpoints. I have experienced incredible things this year, primarily because I opened myself to the process of living, rather than just being focused on the end goal. I have learned to enjoy the trip, with its highs and lows, and felt richer emotionally because of it.

Yes, it has meant more tears than ever before, but it has also meant more happiness – and more joy in little things. I am more aware of the little details along the way – taking in the scenery. It feels like instead of racing along on the interstate, I’ve chosen to take the back roads and see all the points of interest along the way.

For instance, I am a runner, and have run daily for several years.  This year, I joined a program called I Run 4 (read more here), in which I now run in honor of Bennett, a little boy with Down Syndrome who calls me his “running mom.” Now, instead of just getting through each run, I look forward to them because it’s not about me anymore. I am more aware of my surroundings, I see more things – wildlife like deer, bunnies, even bobcats, or the moon, or a gorgeous sunrise. I used to be head down just getting through the run and on to the next thing, but now it’s the highlight of my day, and a chance to pray, think and dream.

Whether it has been mourning the loss of a friend to cancer, daring to dream about a different future, or relishing deeper friendships, viewing life through the lens of my three words has made me slow down and consider. And feel. And live.

APPRECIATE and DELIGHT kind of go hand in hand with JOURNEY. I find I am more intentional in thanking people around me, even just for little things. And because I’m taking in more, I find delight in little things – even just a phone call or email from a friend.

The exciting thing about My Three Words, is that I don’t just forget the ones from years past, but incorporate three new ones with their new direction. I will continue to be influenced by past words, but they will just fade a bit to let the new ones take center stage.

I will reveal My Three Words for 2014 on Wednesday morning. What are your three words?

One thought on “What’s in a word?

  1. Hmmm, I think they should be DON’T STOP NOW because I am about to finish drawing #265 for a book. Now I have to finish the writing, the designing, the editing and proofing, find a printer, find a binder, pay for the whole deal up front, and sell them.
    Maybe they should be GO LIE DOWN.
    How about DRINK MORE COFFEE?
    Your words are definitely more inspiring than mine, Carol!

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