thumb do blog Renato Cardoso
thumb do blog Renato Cardoso

IntelliMen Challenge #42


Men. Intelligent. 
© 2013


Challenge #42

Don’t start before completing Challenge #41.
If you want to join the IntelliMen Project, start from Challenge #1.


Challenge: Don’t allow yourself to use certain negative words.

Explanation: Horses are stronger than men, but men control horses by placing a simple bit in their mouths. Words are the same. Our mouths can make us weak or strong, push us forward or stop us dead in our tracks, open doors of opportunities or slam shut those doors.

I used to know someone who would invariably say “That’s cool, but the problem is…” whenever anyone suggested something new. Then he would proceed to list the problems of implementing the idea. As a result, he was always in the same place, and rarely made any progress in life.

I decided to remove the word “waiting” from my vocabulary. I concluded that “waiting” is rarely and almost never the only thing we can be doing. There’s always something we can do instead of “wait.” I noticed that using that word gives us an excuse to do nothing. “I’m waiting for so-and-so to call so I can…” meaning, I don’t have to do anything until I get a call from so-and-so. That thought is most probably wrong. I could at least call the person instead of simply waiting, among other things…

The thing is, the words we use mirror the way we think. Once we say them and hear ourselves say them a certain thought is reinforced. And so, if my way of thinking about new ideas is — “they’re going to mess up my nice, neat little life and make me uncomfortable” — I will always look for an excuse for why they will not work… and then open my mouth and start being negative. On top of this, when I hear myself talking, I will feel intelligent and vindicated, and my bad mindset will become even more convinced that it is right.

Now, imagine this happening dozens, hundreds or  thousands of times throughout your life. Our words will place negative-conditioning on our thoughts and actions.

But if our words mirror and effect our way of thinking, then we can change our thoughts and attitudes when we change our words!

That’s why your challenge this week is to identify common negative words that you use, and ban yourself from using them (that’s right, ban yourself), and replace them with better words.

I want to be first in line to start off your list: “waiting.” From now on this will be a curse word to you. Don’t use it anymore. Find another word to use. For example, instead of saying “I’m waiting for the school to open so I can enroll,” say “school will open in a month, so in the meantime I’m preparing a room at home to study in, I’m looking into what books I can start reading now, and I’m working on my monthly budget so the payments wont be too heavy.”

Never again use the word “wait.” Be a man of action who goes after things, not a pushover who keeps “waiting.”

Second thing on your list: If you have the habit of using this phrase, then add it to your list: “The problem is…” Stop talking about the problem. Switch your words around. Start to say: “The solution is…”

Got the spirit? So then, get to your Notebook out.

Notebook: Write down the negative words and expressions you’re used to saying. To get you started, you might want to ask people around you what negativity words or expressions they notice you using. At times we don’t notice these words but our wife, boss, employees, parents and friends are only too aware of them. Be humble, ask for help, and listen attentively. Then, next to the negative words, write new words that you will use to replace them. Look at this list every day this week, morning and evening. And watch your mouth!

Official Partner: Before speaking, read James 3 in the Bible. Then speak about it and point out if you notice that type of conversation between you.

Deadline: You may begin working on this challenge immediately and complete it before Challenge #43 which you can begin in a week.

Post: After – and only after – you have completed the challenge, post your comments on the IntelliMenWorld Facebook or Twitter page, (not on your own page) and write the following:

IntelliMen Challenge #42 done: I banned myself to using these words: (Add one or more words or expressions that you identified.)

Links: (when tweeting, use @intelliMenworld)

Verification Checklist

I identified my negative words and expressions

I wrote them down in my Notebook and replaced them with positive words
I’m watching my mouth
My partner and I read James chapter 3 and spoke about the challenge
I posted my comments on Facebook/Twitter


For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. – Jesus (Matthew 12:34)