Your thoughts are bullets and your words are the trigger that sets the course of your destiny. Words influence our success or failure in life. It influences the way we behave and what we believe.


When Abraham Lincoln was running for president of the United States, there was a man who publicly opposed him. He traveled across the country, proclaiming many destructive things about Lincoln in order to destroy his character and person.

At times he would criticize Lincoln’s looks: “You don’t want a lanky, ignorant man like this as the president of the United States.” At other times, he would write malicious statements about Lincoln. In spite of this treatment, Lincoln eventually became president of the United States.

When it was time for President Lincoln to choose a cabinet, he decided to appoint the man who had spoken ill of him as secretary of war. When Lincoln mentioned his decision to his advisors, they said to him: “President Lincoln, are you a fool? Do you know what Mr. Stanton has been saying about you? Do you know what he has done…tried to do to you? Do you know that he has tried to defeat you on every hand? Do you know that, Mr. Lincoln? Did you read all of those derogatory statements that he made about you?”

Abraham Lincoln replied, “Oh yes, I know about it; I read about it; I’ve heard him myself. But after looking over the country, I find that he is the best man for the job.”


After Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, Secretary Stanton paid a great compliment to Lincoln when he stated, “Now he belongs to the ages.” Abraham Lincoln broke the chain of hate through the power of love by becoming a good finder and this act transformed Stanton.

What you say about people and situations is determined by the way you see others and situations and this emanates from the way you see yourself. When you see the good in other people the words you express to them and about them will be good.

What you look for determines what you will find; if you look for the strengths of others you will find good in them. However, if you look for the weaknesses of others you will find faults with them.

Whatever you look for in others you will see, whether real or imagined;  whatever you see or find you will magnify and whatever you magnify you will continually express in your words and in the way you treat them.

The way out of a bad day is to brighten someone’s day. Prepare in advance to brighten up someone’s day without any strings attached or personal agenda and watch your life glow with radiance. Are you feeling bored? Cheer someone up to succeed and you will rekindle the enthusiasm for your dreams.

Give people sincere compliments and put smiles on their faces as you go through the day. Spread happiness everywhere you go by saying something kind and encouraging to everyone you meet or have dealings with.  Remember, when you make people feel better about themselves you feel better about yourself too.

Before you raise a fault to be corrected, first raise praise to acknowledge the person’s good points. Praise before constructive criticism which is rooted in love and consideration of the feelings of others raises the quality of performance by raising the self-esteem of the individual.

As much as lieth within you, correct people in private including your children. When you make people save face, you save their self-esteem from diminishing. Be in the habit of “catching” people doing right and say so even in the presence of others.

The use of universals (an exaggerated series of statements), describing people, especially youngsters, can be devastating. Words like “all, every, never” are examples of universals.

Universals are appropriate when they convey facts or are true in all cases, but when they are misused, their effects can be devastating. For instance, a child does something wrong and the parent says, “You will never amount to anything.” This statement can slaughter the competence of the child and suffocate his drive for success in life. The statement itself is very untrue.

Even if a child has done something wrong, that doesn’t mean that he can’t be a better or worthwhile person. Other examples are: “You are always naughty; you never do anything right; all you know is to play; you are a bad child.” The list is endless. Remember there is an immense difference between a “bad person” and someone who does something bad.

If you can’t say good to someone and about someone then say nothing. Never withhold good from others and never withhold speaking good of others and doing good to others. To speak good of others begins by thinking good of others.



Timeless Gem

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About the Author


Udeme Archibong is a prolific writer, an astute communicator and a model of excellence. Her writings have made profound impact on thousands of lives around the world through her blog:, which has followings in over 70 countries in continents of the world.

She is a Self-Development Expert, who passionately works towards helping people maximize their destinies.

At some point, she was a motivational columnist, writing Success Recipe and Destiny Catalyst, for two Nigerian national newspapers, Vanguard and ThisDay, respectively. She is the initiator of the Revolution Series Seminars