Have you ever repeated a word over and over again only to find that at such a fast pace that particular word loses it’s meaning and simply becomes a strange sound? If not, here’s a fun game to try. Pick a word, any word, and repeat it until you’re blue in the face. Go on, this is a safe space and I am giving you full permission to live in the moment.
A silly game designed to shed some light on the human brain shows us that repetition dulls awareness. Let’s take the word “love” for example and repeat it until it sounds like an alien spacecraft hovering five inches above the ground. One of the most powerful emotions and expressions in our human experience, love, becomes reduced to an obnoxious and meaningless noise. This constant repetition, sending us clear into oblivion, is the problem with cliches. They are wise words that are so overly repeated that they often lose their meaning and pizazz.
Follow your dreams.
Money doesn’t buy happiness.
Live and let live.
Be yourself. Forgive and forget
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Laughter is the best medicine.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
It has even become a cliche to hear these sayings and, “take them to heart.”
We love cliches because they are so often true, but inspiration is fleeting without application. I challenge you to break the spell of the meaningless word sounds, go beyond taking it to heart and take these words to action. After all, “actions do speak louder than words”.
How can we reverse what appears to be obnoxious noise, thus transforming this cloudy clatter into meaningful application? It’s not the repetition alone that dulls cliches, it’s the speed at which we consume them. We read and see Pinterest and Instagram photos with interesting backgrounds and Insta-inspirational quotations posted online; sometimes we share them, or give them a “like” all in order to get our enlightenment fixes for the day. However, these words seem to insta-come and go, in one ear and out the other, as we continue about our day with little internalization of what these words actually mean. Let’s make a collective goal to stop treating our words like fast-food. It’s time to pause, taste, and enjoy our meal.
“Old habits really do die hard” but they can die eventually. Take advantage of the simple insta-reminders throughout your day to help clear the meaningless noise by reflecting. The next time you find yourself reading a beautiful quote on your timeline or newsfeed, remember to sit down with the cliche as if it were a decadent cup of coffee. Taste it, smell it, and let it give you energy to take action. It’s natural to be swept away into the fast-past hustle of life and social media, so don’t get yourself down when you do because there is yet another cliche that just so happens to be true: “The more you try, the more likely you are to succeed.”