Intent: The Hidden Power of Speech

21 Sep

Last night, I posted my first YouTube video, and while I was hoping to share a relaxation technique with others that I find useful, I also learned a lesson from it myself.

In the video, there’s background music, but for the first six minutes or so, I’m talking.  First, I’m explaining the process, then I’m guiding the listener through it.  While listening to it post-production, I noticed a jarring difference between my voice (and its effect) when I switched from ‘instructing’ mode into ‘guiding’ mode.

While (in my opinion) my voice isn’t abrasive in the first half, when my tone changes for the second half, the difference is undeniable, and it made me realize just how much the ‘intent’ behind our words impacts what we say; that even when there’s nothing necessarily ‘wrong’ with our tone of voice, a simple change of intent has the power to transform our words and, potentially, all of our relationships that involve speech.

I thought about this for a while after I had this realization, and a specific example that immediately came to mind was when we tell someone ‘I love you’.  I’m an insecure person (lots of baggage here, lol) and a lot of times when I say ‘I love you’, even though I mean it with all my heart, my intent when saying it is to hear that person say it back to me, to reassure myself that they do, indeed, love me.   So I mentally replayed an instance where I knew I was saying it because I needed to hear it, and then, I pictured myself saying ‘I love you’ with the intent of letting that person know I loved them, without the intent of hearing it in return, and even in my imagination, the difference was stunning.

We always hear how someone’s ‘tone of voice’ is so important when they speak, and I agree, it is very important, but I’ve never heard anyone mention our ‘intention of voice’, and I now believe that to be a huge oversight.  I believe tone of voice is only the first lesson when it comes to our communication with the world around us, kind of like learning the alphabet is only the first step to learning how to read.

Humanity has stagnated at tone, instead of graduating to intent – and who knows what lies beyond that?  Even plants react to our intent… even when that intent is only in thought! (‘The Secret Life of Plants‘ by Peter Tompkins – thank you Indrajit Rathore for suggesting this book to me!)

If plants can react so strongly to intent that isn’t even voiced, only thought in our minds, how much more do the people around us react to the intent we actually give voice to?  And how much are we completely oblivious to its impact on them?

When children misbehave, how different would our voices sound if we changed our intent from ‘making them stop’ to ‘teaching them the proper way to behave’?

I am challenging myself to speak with intent today to those around me, and I invite you all to join me.

I’d love to know what you think about my theory (okay, I’m calling it MINE, even though I’m sure someone else already came up with it, but because I came up with it on my own, I’m still calling it ‘mine’), so please feel free to discuss this in the comments! 🙂

Did some searching, and will add related articles I find below:

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4 Responses to “Intent: The Hidden Power of Speech”

  1. mypersonalchef September 21, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    LOVE it!!! You’ve come into your own 🙂
    Again funny how our paths are crossing here. One of my great confidantes is currently reading a book on the power of words and intention. I’ll find out the name for you. But likewise, it was also Tania Marshall’s work on Aspergers in females that changed my world as well. She’s got a list of words that can and should be substituted for things we speak and have unintentional power of negativity. http://taniaannmarshall.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/label-this-and-say-what-building-a-strengths-based-descriptive-model-for-individuals-with-autism/
    While I completely agree with your observation/theory 🙂 Sometimes it takes a change in words before we get into the habit of thinking of intention. We are not always conscious or mindful of our intentions…and we should be! It does and will make a world of a difference.
    Thank you for this insight 🙂

    Like

    • mypersonalchef September 21, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

      “Change Your Words, Change Your World” by Andrea Gardner

      Like

      • KraftedKhaos September 21, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

        Thank you! Hopefully it will be on kindle, LOL… having transportation only one or two days a week makes it frustrating to get things you want sometimes. Kindle has been such a help! And so have you!

        (I find it so amazing, the parallels between my life/interests and people I meet… it’s always so uncanny… yet happens to me ALL the time, lol)

        Thank you again for the information!

        Like

    • KraftedKhaos September 21, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

      Thank you, but it was actually your comment about me having a calming voice that started the train of thought, it led to the contemplation of my voice, which led me to the the two distinct sounds of my voice, which led me to my intent while I was speaking… which led to my enlightenment. 🙂

      Like I said, I knew that others had had this ‘revelation’ before me, and I’d even heard things about the ‘power of intent’ but I’d never actually seen/heard it demonstrated in a way that made any impact on me.

      This is one lesson I definitely don’t want to forget about! I’ll definitely check out your link!

      Hey, maybe I can make that the subject of my next YouTube video, LOL. ^_^

      Like

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