Limited Words

I have a question for you. If you let it, it could be a really important question, because your answer may end up guiding your life.

Here it is.

If you could only speak one hundred words from now until the end of your life, what words would they be, when would you speak them and to whom would you say them?

I ask you to avoid the temptation to answer right away. Instead, pause a moment to reflect.

Sit still and let the essence of this question take hold of you. Breathe in and out a few times.

Give your mind some room to consider.

One hundred words is not very many, so you may need a few minutes or a few hours to decide which ones are the most important to you.

Not only which words to choose, but who to say them to and when.

Would you spread them out, speaking only a few now, in order to save some for the years to come?

Or would you gasp a little and spill some words carelessly?

Stepping back like this could provide enough distance to take full measure of the importance of the words you use.

A while ago, I asked a variation on this theme. I asked that if you only had seven words you could use, what would they be? This time I’ve shifted, but the intention is similar because there is a limit. Whenever I feel the weight of some heavy limit upon me, I find it forces me to go deeper. I sense a need to clarify who I am and what is important to me.

The idea that I could only speak one hundred more words in my life is incredibly challenging and feels overwhelming.

I don’t like it at all. But the truth is, I know there is value in my asking.

One idea hits me. Maybe I could be clever and find ways to save some words. I could learn sign language or develop my own shorthand of signs. That way, I could still communicate, just not using words.

Still, being limited to one hundred words would be very difficult for me. Maybe for you too. Especially considering that a fairly common sentence could easily be seven to ten words. That’s only 10-14 sentences for my life.

If this situation was real and I truly had this limit, I believe I would want my family and friends to know I love them and that I care about them and their future.

I would want others to know how important they were to me and how much I hoped they would succeed and experience their dreams as reality.

I think I would skip all gossip, judgements, expectations, and admonitions. I would let others live their lives without commenting or giving my opinions because I would want to conserve my words for the good stuff.

I’m pretty sure my facial expressions speak volumes for me. I could replace my words with a variety of smiles and my body language could assist with conveying messages.

Even so, I think I would parse my words very carefully, which I see now that I don’t do at present. I take them for granted. I think this is a mistake on my part.

I think I will keep this idea in mind and let it guide my words for the future.

One Reply to “Limited Words”

  1. Thank you Rob!
    I find it interesting that you brought this topic up. I wrote some “Words” last year or so. I thought I needed to. The draft of those words in the form of poetry keeps changing.
    Words, to say What? How? Why? To Whom?
    Maybe the reason why is now in the past.
    Maybe the words I choose today will come to me more easily.


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