You unknowingly wield a weapon of astounding power, every moment of your life.
You’re even employing this mechanism of mammoth magnitude right now. And so am I…
What is it, you ask?
The words you use.
The words you choose to speak, to both yourself and others, define our experience. Your speech (internal and external) acts as a filter placed upon your picture of reality.
Words carry deep meaning, extending well beyond surface-level appearance. Words are like arrows of intention, aimed at the mysterious field of infinite abstraction.
Positive people consistently use positive words, while negative Nancy’s marinate in negative narratives. And elite athletes steadily speak the language of perseverance and success. There’s no secret, it’s all a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Whatever your consistent dominant thoughts are (and thus what you express through words), the universe conspires to bring just that to fruition.
The one particular word that sparked the idea for this post is “Scout.”
I heard this term used by Stephen Davis in his thought-provoking ebook “Butterflies Are Free To Fly” (I’m listening to the audio version now). In it, he describes himself as a “scout” (as opposed to a guru, expert, master…etc), simply reporting information and from his unique perspective and experience. This, in my opinion, is a brilliant way to phrase things.
Check out “Butterflies Are Free To Fly” here. (PS- It’s free!)
A very applicable dictionary definition of the word scout is “A person sent out to obtain information.”
A scout observes, gathers information, and then shares these observations with others. I don’t know about you, but I like the sound of that.
Why using “Scout” is (… well…) useful:
1. It implies that we all have unique perspectives and we can all learn from one another.
2. It shatters the idea (or illusion) of hierarchy.
Ego is overemphasized in our society, creating a culture of rigid hierarchy, power struggles, scarcity, inferiority/superiority and all of the dysfunction that comes with that a fear-based paradigm.
With using the word “scout,” there is no giving power away. There is no placing one person on a pedestal, while looking down on another. It embraces the fact that everyone has something useful to contribute, and there is always something useful to learn.
There is no better or worse; those are merely labels we place on everything.
No one is more advanced, and no position in life is more important; just different perspectives. Is a person who’s on a mountaintop “better” than someone on a beach? Of course not, they’re merely experiencing nature from different vantage points.
Everyone has a beautifully unique point of view. We’re all the universe experiencing itself from a vast number of unique perspectives.
“We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.” ― Carl Sagan
The term scout implies that we all have unique perspectives and unique experiences to share with others. And in sharing, we help others see more clearly. (Sharing is caring)
There’s a reason why sports games are filmed from multiple camera angles. There’s a reason why we have more than one eye (imagine how good our depth perception would be with like 6 eyes haha). Having multiple sources of information is far more effective than just one.
What’s the point in using different words?
Like I stated above, our words hold immense power. Our words define our experience.
Sales people, for example, know this very well, and carefully craft words to create a desired outcome. They wouldn’t choose their words so carefully if it didn’t have such a profound effect.
And this isn’t exclusive to the words we verbalize; our self-talk is just as important (if not more). We all have internal dialogue, and this self-talk determines how we perceive reality. Most of the time, these perceptions are not blatant, but instead based on the subtleties of the subconscious intentions behind words.
If you’re attaching identity to terms like guru, expert, master…etc. you’re tapping into a hierarchical/rigid/egotistical paradigm, and restricting the effortless flow of life.
For example, if you’re learning from someone who calls themself an “expert,” you will inherently believe that they are “better” or more advanced. You’re more likely to blindly follow this person, giving up at least some of your intrinsic power. But think of this person as a scout, and you’ll learn all you can from their perspective while viewing them as an equal (not putting them on a pedestal).
“Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own.” -Bruce Lee
^Probably favorite quote of all-time
Now let’s flip the script. If you label yourself as an “expert” you’re more likely to be rigid in your beliefs. Thinking you know best, and cutting yourself off from a lot of useful information out there. Think of yourself as a “scout” and you’ll be more open to all possibility, and even learn from the very people who you were teaching.
That’s why many people I admire will often say things like “Don’t take this as absolute truth, it’s merely my perspective.” And they tend to be much closer to truth than the people who claim that their way is the only way and everything else is wrong.
It’s all a matter of perception…
Life isn’t black and white. Subjectivity paints the gray area of reality with vibrant colors.
When everyone is a “scout,” everyone gains more perspective on everything. This inevitably disintegrates things like intellectual dependency, rigid labels and inflexible assumptions; allowing us to readily form our own unique conclusions and continuously evolve.
How to incorporate this today:
Simply be aware of the words you use (both with self-talk and external dialogue).
Are you subtly sabotaging yourself? Or are you programming yourself for success and happiness? If you find yourself choosing disempowering words (or phrases), be aware of this, and replace them with something more beneficial. (Meditation is a great way to hone this awareness.) Do this consistently, and the words you choose will change, manifesting a whole new reality.
And that’s my “scouting report” 😉
Stay feelin’ good, feelin’ great.