Judging Words

I teach what I call “thoughtful release” when I guide people in making their keep/let go decisions about their stuff. One of my mentors pointed out that “thoughtful” has several definitions, all appropriate in regard to organizing (Oxford English Dictionary, via Google): “absorbed in or involving thought,” “showing consideration for the needs of other people,” and “showing careful consideration or attention.” I’d never realized the “consideration” shades to the concept. This same mentor pointed out that when I “bet that” a client was feeling a certain reaction to her garden, my language was a challenge, a dare into a competition, not the classic Nu Yawker invitation to engage I’ve always breezily assumed. “I wonder if” might have led us out to the patio much more quickly. I caught myself correcting a potential client yesterday when she gave an optimistic “I can do this in two hours” answer to a job I assessed at 20-hours minimum: she’d “grossly” underestimated. Judging words. Harsh and too easy to find. Thankfully, they are avoidable, with practice and attention. “Grossly” is definitely leaving my vocabulary. Since I believe in the active practice of hope, I’ve got a good chance of remembering that resolve. I’ll always remember “thoughtful.” What are words you’d like to keep?


“It has seemed to be more necessary to have regard to the weight of words rather than to their number.” Marcus Tullius Cicero


About Lauren Williams

Lauren Williams, Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Virtual Professional Organizer®

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