Beware of "Look-Alike" Words!

by Robin Sacks

· Perspective,Self-Awareness,Pay Attention,Clarity,Self-Leadership
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Are you speaking the same language

I know that sounds ridiculous, but stick with me for a minute.

It's strange to think about the fact that, even in your native tongue, you're probably using words that don't mean what you think they mean.

No, I'm not talking about "big" words that you only hear at national spelling bees. I'm talking about words we use regularly to mean something they actually don't.

The words you choose to associate with one another can really mess up your life.

Let me give you some examples of synonyms you may be using all wrong, that may be negatively impacting your life.

Example #1 - "5AM" doesn't mean "successful." This concept has become popular in recent years. Many people have taken it as meaning that there is something magical about waking up at 5am. There isn't. The idea is that you will have more undisturbed time if you take advantage of that "quiet" time when there are not as many things competing for your attention (phone calls, texts, emails, etc.). That makes sense. However, there is nothing magical about the big hand being on the 12 and the little hand being on the 5. You have 24 hours every day to have that time - IF you make it. You have the ability to turn off notifications. You have the ability to go into 'do not disturb' mode. You have the ability to choose NOT to open your email or social media and get lost in it. Your challenge is not the time on the clock; you challenge is your ability to focus intentionally.

Example #2 - "Noon" doesn't mean "eat." It's obvious why so many people got into this association habit; if you are an employee, this is when you are told to take lunch. However, the clock is the worst thing you can use to determine if you are actually hungry. That autopilot eating, without any awareness of whether your body needs food or not, is a contributor to the overweight problem our society has. Consistently eating for reasons other than hunger is going to make you gain weight. Your body does not know what time it is; it only knows when it needs fuel. Get in the habit of paying attention to when you are actually hungry and when you are not; give your body fuel when it needs it and don't when it doesn't, regardless of what the clock says.

Example #3 - "Busy" doesn't mean "productive." Let's get right to the point with this one. "Busy" people seem to spend more time telling everyone (including themselves) that they are 'so busy' than they do actually doing things. We've all had days where it feels like we have not stopped, yet have nothing crossed off our to-do list at the end of the day. It's easy to be 'busy.' Some even get 'busy' as an unconscious attempt at procrastination. (We've all done that at some point, too!) When we are productive, we have something to show for it. It is important to know the difference.

What words do you or someone you know use that are "look-alike" words, but actually are quite different?

Becoming aware of what synonyms you create that are counterproductive to what you are trying to do can change your results quickly.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash.

WRITTEN by Robin Sacks

Professionally, I am a Confidence Coach, speaker, author and motivator.

Personally, I am a mom, wife, and friend.

I live for bad puns and cozy mysteries.

Learn a lot more at

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