If you can language it, you can have it


Language it

So Barbie has got in on the entrepreneur act and is telling us that if you can dream it, you can be it (except for, one presumes, the owner of a healthy, normally proportioned body). I’ll pay that, mildly, with a not-too-enthusiastic clap and a bit of a nod. No more, because the idea of dreaming as the way to achievement teeters unstably, much like Barbie and her tiny tiptoed feet. There is a better way.

I am a dreamer who comes from a long line of dreamers, but even I can tell you that dreams are nebulous. They are beautiful, and inspiring, and they sustain us through challenges, but they aren’t a modus operandi. It’s like a friend of mine says about his son, who is always coming up with the next way to make his fortune: “He’s got this great idea, then… SOMETHING’S SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN… and then suddenly he’ll be rich.”

Dreams don’t tell us the something that’s supposed to happen – that we’re supposed to make happen – in order for us to get where we want to go. So what does? Words do.

If you can language it, you can have it.

I love that. Words give nebulous dreams body and substance. They communicate intention to our deepest selves and to the world, which also makes us accountable. They make their appearance in the tools used by all achievers: goals, mission statements, journals, and business and life plans.

And if you can’t language it? That means you don’t know what you want. That, or you need to get over yourself. There is no person so complex, nothing so big, that it can’t be languaged. A literary masterpiece like Romeo and Juliet can be summed up in under ten words (“Two teenagers fall in love and then they die”), Richard Branson believes that mission statements should fit within the 140-character parameter of the Tweet (“To embrace the human spirit and let it fly”), and hey, even God summed himself up in two words (“I am”).

I’m not saying be brief: I’m saying be verbal. Be clear. Be vocal! Unlike Barbie, you have a voice, and whether it’s written or spoken, it can language what you stand for and what you stand to achieve.


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