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Why Your One Word May Be Useless to You in 2014

| written by Bryan S. Arnold | 16 comments


I know you’ve put in some work figuring out the best word for you in 2014. A lot of soul searching went into figuring out just the right one to pick. 

You probably had three or four picked out. Filtered down to two…then…Ah, yes, that’s the one! That’s your word for 2014! Let’s Rock this Thing! Right?

I know. 

And I didn’t mean to offend you with the whole useless tag about your word in the title. But here’s what that did. It instantly snapped you up to start clinging even more to that word you’re holding so sacred now.

It’s important to you.  

That word means change.  

It means different.

It means hope.

I know.

My sacred word is Share. And I chose it because it’s tough. I chose it because it’s what I needed to claim my destiny.

I never liked to share myself with others. It’s always been hard for me. Being alone has always suited me somehow. I was content, you know?

But I didn’t always want to be alone. I wanted to hang out with the cool kids too.

I wanted to be chosen to sing on the big stage like the cool kids too.

I wanted to build startup businesses like the cool kids…too.

Guess what?

I still want those things. Shocker right?

So I need this one word in my life. 


I have to learn to share my story.

Share my awkwardness.

Share my fears.

Share my hopes.

Share my dreams.

Share my mistakes.

Share my bad photos and videos. 

Share me.

This word has to mean something to me for real. I have to bring life to this word in order for it to truly make an impact in me. I have to share who I am in every aspect of my life. 

I’m talking online, offline. You name it!

I have to live it. Every day. 3-6-5.

So everyday I’m putting this word to the task and reaching out to someone.

And I’m encouraging you to do likewise with your word. Whatever word you’re holding close to you…

Bring Life to It!

Don’t let it be just a thing. You know…something cool you’re doing on that 3-6-5 site and blah, blah, blah…you’re back on Facebook.

NO…stop that!

You don’t have time for that. You have this sacred word to protect. Your un-useless word to make good on this year.

You have less than 10 months left. Regardless of what’s happened in these past two months…you have today. You have each day, of the rest of this year, to make your word count for something.

And I don’t know if you’re receiving this post well. I probably sound a bit too intense right now or just absolutely crazy. 

But believe me, I’m not.

I just believe that your commitment means everything right now.  And it starts with Your Word. 

Did you catch that?

Back in the day, when you gave somebody your word…

It was preceded by officially saying that, what happened prior, would NEVER happen again. It was an expression of deep trust.

If you broke your word, the consequences were enormous. You’d be shunned! Like, it would be a very bad scene. 

So when you came out this year with your word…

Did you really have a plan for it? 

Did you believe in it wholeheartedly?

Did you know where it was going to take you?

Did you actually see the results playing out?

This is what I mean by bringing life to your word or else your word would be just that. 

A word…

Not sacred. Not special. Not useful. Useless.

That’s terribly harsh to say. 

I know.

And I would never want this for your word. Ever.

Now if you’re having second thoughts about the word you chose, unfortunately, you can’t take it back.

Because you know what happens when you go back on your word right?

Yeah…the shun thing again. Not cool.

So if your sacred word, your tough word is fading fast, now’s the time to revive it. Bring life to it and never, ever let it be useless.  

Have you brought life to your word so far this year?

If so, please share what you’ve done to make that happen.
If not, share what’s held you back and how you plan revive your word for the rest of 2014.

{Photo Credit: mr Tiera via Compfight cc}

Bryan S. Arnold is an author, copywriter, and blogger helping people create permanent change in business and in life. And if you ask nicely, he might just sing a tune for you. Read more from him at Unshelled.me and say hi on Twitter.


Mike Goncalves: Excellent post Bryan and certainly thought provoking for sure. My one word this year is #Chances. To give myself more chances at happiness by living the life I want and doing more of what I want. I've committed this year to not just give myself chances at the type of life and things that I want, but I've also made the commitment to help others give themselves a chance....just a chance at happiness and the type of lives, fulfilling, purposely lives that they too want to be living. I created The Wellness Bucket for this exact reason. It's the chance I am giving myself at creating the life I want with the hopes that in doing so, I will also help others give themselves the same chance at their own happiness. Your word, Share, is excellent and your honest and your own story you shared is awesome.... thank you. You have a very unique writing style that's both easy to read, to the point, and most importantly....inspiring. Reply

    bryansarnold: Thanks Mike for the kind words. But even more so, thanks for sharing your "one" word and confirming your commitment to helping others. I think we all need to give ourselves a chance and living a life full of passion and freedom. So I applaud your willingness to help people live in a more fufilling way. It's not always easy but the journey is well worth it in the end. WE are all destined for greatness...we just have to stay committed to the journey.... Reply

Brandon: Thanks for this, Bryan. I didn't know about one word, but the one word that keeps popping in my head and creating both excitement and serious fear is "Ask." At this point in my life I'd say I'm pretty darn good at "DO" but as I change the scope of my profession to helping many many more people, I have no choice but to ask for help, ask for advice, ask for favors, ask big people do big things. I always hear "just ask, the worst they could say is No," but IM AFRAID OF THE NO. When I ask for something I attach my pride and my honest desire to that ASK as well as the phrase "I can't DO this without you, believe me, I would if I could." I've also heard that if you encounter something that you're afraid of doing, you should probably DO it. It is my pursuit of making my DO stronger and more impactful that I am working on the power of my ASK and dealing with my fears and ego behind it. And while I do get the No from time to time, it's not nearly as often as I fear and not as punishing as I imagine. ASK is my sacred word with IMMENSE POWER that I will ONLY use for the greater good. Reply

    Tracy: Growth begins at the edge of your comfort zone. Just do it, Brandon! Reply

Bryan: Brandon, "Ask" is a very hard word indeed. I may have to use that for next year! But yes, the fear of rejection is attached to asking every time so that's why it's scary. It's risky and we don't like to take these risks especially not every time. We like to stay comfortable and that gets us a whole lot of nowhere! So thanks for sharing your word and sharing your journey with it. Your commitment to asking will definitely have you going places. Reply

Tracy: Thanks Bryan for the great post! Thank you so much for the reminder of "You have less than 10 months left. Regardless of what’s happened in these past two months…you have today. You have each day, of the rest of this year, to make your word count for something." That is very inspiring. Yes I have "today" to make my word count. And my word is "ACT". Unlike Brandon, I haven't done enough. I feel that I am slowly getting out of my "perfectionism" and "analysis paralysis" bucket and moving towards taking actions. Fear and worry had been keeping me from moving on for years. In 2014, for the rest of the year, I choose to ACT with courage and (even) fear. Thanks again Bryan. I am grateful for being reminded of my word. Reply

    bryansarnold: Tracy...you are in good company with the perfectionist thing. I suffer from that as well but not nearly as much as I used to...so I definitely can relate. Just start telling yourself, "That's good enough" and move on! You can always go back and edit. "Act" is a word that's tough for us all. I say, "Act" as if...you're already the person you want to become and you'll be further along than most! Reply

      Tracy: " 'Act' as if...you're already the person " thanks for the inspiration again Bryan!;) Reply

Genelle Lynn: Since 2008, my word has been Ephphatha and that simply means, be opened. Thank you for sharing your word and heart. You have reminded me to step outside my box and be completely open to all that God designed and purposed me to be. #Ephphatha Reply

    Bryan: Thanks Genelle for sharing your word. I love it...being open is something that holds back so many people. Sometimes we have a tendency to be comfortable where we are. You can't grow in this place...it's when things are uncomfortable where you know that you're entering into a place of growth. So I'm glad to see that you're open to stepping outside of your box and letting God direct your path. Reply

Charisse: Bryan, I have to say...I am truly impressed, intrigued and inspired by this article! You have real raw talent and I am truly stretched to start to think about what my one word is for this year. I hadn't thought about it before, but I'm thinking that "new" is a good word for me because I want to do something new and try something new at least once a month. I want to go somewhere new, experience something new, and push myself to new limits. Thank you so much for sharing and posting and I cannot wait to read more of this incredible articles that you'll be posting. Good stuff! Reply

Bryan: Thanks so much Charisse, for the kind words. And I love your word you picked, "New". I believe we all can benefit from experiencing something new in our lives. It can provide a spark to ignite us into something incredible. So thanks for sharing your goal of using your word to do something "new" each month. Sounds like an awesome plan! Reply

Lindsey: My thoughts on this: http://lindseybrunette.com/post/81595861323/one-word-365-freedom Thanks, Bryan, for sharing! Reply

    Bryan: Thanks Lindsey for your feedback and great post by the way. I wish I could comment on it to thank you there. But your word Freedom is a tough one even for me still pushing to break totally out of my shell. Freedom is living without boundaries and breaking all barriers. So I can only imagine how much of challenge that word is for you. And to be honest, it's not supposed to be easy. It's supposed to be a challenge so embrace it! And by the end of the year I'm sure you'll be breathing life into your word every day! Reply

Amy Young: Glad that Alece pointed us back to the comments! I'd read the first post and now have enjoyed seeing what it stirred in others! Reply

    Bryan: Thanks Amy...glad you got back to the comment section and were able to enjoy the post! Here's hoping you thrive in your one word for this year! Reply

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