5 ways to amp yourself up every morning
hide and seek: how to find opportunities

the positive power of words (and FREE download!)


positive power of words( )

"Words are things and a small drop of ink,
 falling like dew upon a thought, produces that
 which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think."

George Gordon Byron



Those of you familiar with Positively Present have probably picked up on my penchant for words. I love words and quotes -- especially the written word. It's not that I don't love the sound of words, but there is something about seeing a word written down, a quote on a computer screen,  or a line in a novel that just inspires me. I have spiral bound notebooks and beautifully covered journals filled with quotes and scribbled with lines from songs or novels or things my friends have said. I have an entire folder on my computer dedicated to quotes and, yes, I spend hours and hours online hunting for words -- quotes and snippets and lyrics and poems and anything that will send that little shiver of delight up my spine when I read it. I cannot deny it: I love words passionately, fiercely, endlessly.  

Only recently was it that I got to thinking about my love of quotes and what it really means. Why, I wondered, do I take so much joy in the words of others? Why is it that I clutch at a new quote with such hungry, excited desperation? The more I thought about it, the more I realized that what I love most about quotes is the ability they give me to relate to others. They provide a foundation from which I can be moved by others, relating to them even if I do not know them nor will ever know them. I am not a particularly social individual so when I find something -- like the power of words -- that allows me to really connect with others in a way that is both intimate and removed, it is amazing for me. 

Over the past few years in particular, I've had such a moving experience when it comes to my relationship with words, and I've found some quotes about words (words about words!) that will help me to explain why I believe words are so important and how the powerful impact of words has transformed my life. 

"It is not for nothing that the word has remained man's principal toy and tool;
 without the meaning and value it sustains, all man's other tools would be worthless." 

Lewis Mumford 


Life, in essence, would be worthless without words. Though I don't know if everyone would agree with that fact (or even if I do), I am certain that my world is an infinitely better because of the words that fill its spaces and provide me with the tools necessary to convey my thoughts and emotions. Words change me every single day. They shift and shape my life and, recently, have helped me to transform my life from mere existence to a positive state of being. I am not certain that all would be lost if my life was void of words, but I know for sure that, without words, I would not be living; I would be merely existing. 


"The human mind has not achieved anything greater
 than the ability to share feelings and thoughts through language."

James Earl Jones

When you think about the various ways we, as humans, can communicate with one another, it truly is inspiring. Yes, other animals have the ability to communicate with one another, but not in the same way humans do. We have the amazing ability to share such complex thoughts and feelings through the powerful tool of words. Without them, we would be not be able to communicate nearly so well with one another, and it would be difficult to think on the complex level that we so often do. Even with words around it can be hard to get a point across or accurately convey a feeling, but imagine what life would be like if we had no words at all... 

  "A word is dead/When it is said/Some say/
 I say it just/Begins to live/That day"

Emily Dickinson


It's amazing the way words can stay around for centuries, continuing to impact people though their creators have long since moved on. Once a word or phrase is put down on paper or shared electronically, it begins to truly live. I agree with Dickinson in her statement that when a word is said, or written, it finally comes to life. Words exist within us, but they are not truly alive and flourishing until they are shared with the world. It is because of the words of others -- words that they could have kept to themselves -- that I've been able to experience a much more positive life. I am grateful, always, for the words others have said and written. 


"Words, so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary,
 how potent for good and evil they become in the hands
 of one who knows how to combine them!" 

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Ah, we are all aware of the power of words. One word said or read the wrong way can cause so much pain. The perfect words said at the perfect time can provide pure moments of bliss. Words are incredibly powerful and can be used both for good and bad. The more I think about words this way, the more I want to make an effort to choose powerfully positive words. We have a choice about what we said and write and it's so important to realize the power we possess with the words we share with others. We must use our words carefully, for they are much more laden with meaning than we often realize. 




"Words are a form of action, capable of influencing change. 
 Their articulation represents a complete, lived experience." 

Ingrid Bengis

It is astounding to me to think about how much words have changed my life. Through reading the words of others, I have learned so much. I have grown so much. I have changed so much. There is no way for me to even fully grasp who I would be without the words I have read and heard. From pop-song lyrics to some of the greatest works of literature, my mind has been hunting and gathering words for over a quarter of a century and each and every word has impacted me in some way. There is no way for me to accurately put into words how the power of words has impacted me, but my life would not be what it is without them. Words have positively influenced me in so many ways and I am thankful not only that I have the ability to absorb these words and their meanings, but also that I have the power to share these words, and words of my own, with others. 

After collecting these quotes and reflecting on them, I feel even more strongly about my love for words. They are the foundation for nearly everything in my life and I cannot imagine a life lived without them. As you may know, I love to share words whenever I can and, in fact, every Sunday I feature a segment on Positively Present called "Words To Live By," in which I share some of my favorite quotes and lyrics. It makes me immensely happy to share words that I love with others, and, today, I'm going to be sharing some of my favorite inspiration phrases with you in the free PDF below. Download it, cut out the words, and post them anywhere you want to be inspired because, as I know all too well, the right combination of words can be uplifting, motivating, and positively thought-provoking.



Download "Words To Live By" PDF


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I am totally going to print out the poster and tape it to my door! It's nice and bright, something I need every morning. Thanks!

PP -

You seriously have a way with words and a passion for them. I agree that words shape our life - they have power meaning and nuance. They affect our life in huge ways. I love words on a page and words that we hear or overhear from others. I love quotes, my favourite is from Marianne Williamson ("Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate - it is that we are more powerful than we can possibly imagine".) Stirring stuff! Thanks for the download - great idea and true value.


A.D. - Yay! I'm so glad you liked the post and the download. I hope it cheer you up every morning when you see it!

Phil - Thank you so much! I love that Williamson quote as well. It's such a great one -- and so true. I'm happy you liked the download. Enjoy the quotes!

I too love words and how they are used. What is interesting is that we have so many words and such great powers to communicate, yet often we fail miserably to do so.

Syd - I agree. It's very interesting how we often have so much trouble communicating when we have so many words to choose from. But, on the positive side, think about how much we are able to communicate using our words!

Hey Dani,
Wonderfully written!

You know what I find so interesting about words is how a single word, by itself, may not mean much (or mean something - just now to it's full potential), yet - when combined with other words, can become something so much more beautiful than it was individually....

And - what you have created - the cutouts of words to live by - what a beautiful gift you have given here!

We're so lucky to have words =)

Lance - Thank you! I'm so glad you liked the post and the free download. I loved what you wrote about words in your comment; it's so true that they can be completely transformed when grouped with other words (kind of like people can be when grouped with other people!).

Rocky - Yes, we are! Thanks for the comment.

Thank you very much for your WORDS and kindness.

Some words say some things so well. The beauty is we're always our most important meaning maker.

Putta - You're welcome. And thank YOU for your comment! :)

J.D. - It's so true that we are our own meaning makers. What a great way of thinking about words and how they impact our world. Thanks for the comment!

So true,the power of the word,the complexity of each interpretation,the intuitive connection when it happens.We need to teach attention training skills to our children in elemetary school so they can learn to live a life that is "positively present".

Derrick - Great point about how important it is to teach children about the importance of words early on. It can be difficult to pay attention to words sometimes, but I agree that a lot of children would benefit from learning to be more present. Paying attention to words is a great way to focus on the now.

I really like all your quotes. My favorite is the one by Gandhi on the main page! You also have some really great photos! I love the one that says you are more like your mother everyday! I like the simple design of your site too. I just followed you via email. Thanks for being a positive voice!

Shanity - Thank you so much! I'm so glad you found Positively Present and signed up for email updates. Thanks for reading!

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