Home organizer Marla Stone, a retired social worker, figured out it is our language that is creating chronic disorganization, hoarding and even living in squalor. “We don’t use the word 'will' anymore.” Marla explains that we do not “Will” ourselves to do things. She states “People have replaced the word will with need, and everybody is needling themselves to death”. She insists that the phrase ” I need” is the most used phrase in all human languages. The other phrase besides “I need” is “I have to”. She is quick to remind that “needs” and “have to haves” are necessities. “Need has even changed in the dictionary to mean a 'want', or something desired, and it is an incorrect use of the word need".
The true meaning of the word need is necessity, which there are seven things that keep us alive. Air, water, food, sleep, elimination, shelter and sunlight are essential to staying alive, and if we don’t have them we will eventually die, sooner than later. Marla explains “these seven items are the essential things in life that keep us alive.” Some will argue surgery, or medications, but Marla has seen many a person not go into surgery or take their meds and they are still alive. So she explains that everything else in life is a “want or a don’t want”.
You either want to get organized or you don’t. Most people don’t wake up every morning wanting to do laundry, put away the dishes, and clear out the garage, but you can use a different language and say, “I don’t want to clean up and get organized, but I will because……” Marla says “figure it out, what you want, what you don’t want and this way you will start willing yourself to do what it takes to accomplish your daily and life-long goals". She is careful to add “When you say that you need to do something, and that something is not an actual need, the sub-conscious mind catches it, as a lie, and it will derail you from what you want to accomplish.”
Another part of the language discovery for improving concentration, motivation and follow-through is ceasing all indecisive language. Indecisive language is “I’ll try” (the second most used phrase in human language), maybe, perhaps, if, someday, sometime, might, but, I’ll think about it, we’ll see, sounds good, sure, I can’t commit for sure, yeah, yeah, yeah, and I don’t know (very popular statement). There are hundreds of other indecisive language phrases we use daily, without even knowing we are doing it.
“The most important and the saddest part of the destruction of our human language is that we no longer use 'feeling' words, or adjectives”. Marla explains that we make statements such as “I feel like” or "I feel that” followed by a not well thought out thought, completely skipping over the actual feelings. There are literally 200,000 plus adjectives in the english language, and we only use about two or three per week. The words frustrated and pissed seem to be the most popular feelings, followed by upset and depressed. Marla explains that people have “not stopped feeling lonely, pathetic, disengaged, trapped, misunderstood, empty, sensitive, indignant or for that matter enthused, joyful, ecstatic or enraptured. We just have stopped using all these wonderful adjectives to describe what is happening emotionally, and it is making us robotic like people. We are afraid to feel. When we do feel deep or dark feelings we push the feeling away with statements such as 'I feel that he doesn’t understand me' or 'I feel like this is not going to happen', and this is the main problem facing civilization". The idea that you would say “I feel”, without an actually feeling word (adjective) is improper english. Listen, and count how many times you say
"I need", only to prove to yourself how attached you are to the word need.
“The idea behind all three of these language challenges is that we are extremely needy, indecisive and robotic. This language barrier to our own inner processes is not allowing us to get ourselves, homes and lives in order. Marla’s theory of how language is creating and perpetuating chronic disorganization is one of a kind. “When I went to do research on indecisive language, need versus want, and the lack of the use of adjectives in human language there was hardly anything about this, almost zilch. I was astonished. Even extremely well thought out people, doctors, attorneys, scientists, professors, and highly educated researchers are all using poor language and defeating their own dreams and goals. This is not just a colloquialism challenge, this is the destruction of our being human, and having verbal expression, and then being motivated by our expression.
It is truly sad that, as human beings, there is a loss of will to thrive, and be productive, loss of our ability to communicate our feelings, a deep neediness for everything.
Marla thinks that chronic T.V. watching, electronic game playing, long bouts of internet use, and mindless romance or thriller books have a lot to do with our losing our excellent language skills, and ability to communicate. People are so absorbed in these “non-living” activities that they stop living their own lives.
Marla Stone, MSW, Lifestyle Coach, Professional Organizer, Décor and Feng Shui Specialist helps people unlock OCD, ADD, ADHD, Chronic Disorganization and Hoarding Behaviors