When Words Matter

When Words Matter

Some call them slogans. Others label them as mantras or mottos. Lately, I’ve spent a good amount of time condensing thoughts down to clever words preceded by hashtags for my continued “adventures” on Twitter, the social media platform that confounds me the most. But. . .


Whatever you call them, these short sticky sound bites are powerful, often reminding us quite succinctly what is important.

I’ll never forget my first meeting with my IBM sales manager in 1982. Although I’d been a recruiter in Charlotte for eighteen months, I’d switched to a sales position when I relocated to Atlanta so I was a rookie, again. On my first day of work I’d worn my best pinstripe suit, white blouse with a floppy bowtie (all the rage in the early ’80s, at least at IBM), and navy pumps. I shook my new boss’s hand firmly and looked him in the eyes before sitting down in an uncomfortable chair where I began to fidget at the sight of the words he had on display.

On his Spartan overly-organized desk was a sleek brown laminated tent card sign that read simply:


A nearby bookcase hosted another laminated beauty with an equally challenging sentiment:


Needless to say, following that meeting I only ever came into his office prepared, rehearsed, and ready to take action.

In the last several weeks, I’ve been looking for a new mantra, a new word or two that matters and reminds me what is important. Life continues to roll on, but not as planned. You’d think after all the hairpin turns I’ve had that I’d be used to it by now.

But I’m not.

Do we ever get used to life’s adversities?

I don’t think so.

And, just because we’ve been in a valley or two, does it mean we’re “good” at it?

Perhaps, but that doesn’t mean we like it.

In the meantime, mantras help. They concentrate our focus as we move through what we must.

So far, the new one that seems to be helping me is:


I’m hoping I can rise up high enough above the difficulties to gain perspective. A comforting perspective.

How about you? What mantras do you rely on when you find yourself in a valley? I’d love to know.

Yes, #WordsMatter. Tell me which ones matter most to you and I’ll share them next week.

My best—always,

Becky  (Nana B)

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