To-Do List or Success List – It’s Your Choice

Published on April 17, 2013

To-do listA past client and business Facebook friend recently called me out on a Facebook status posting for saying that I have a “to-do” list. He preferred I say I have a “success list” or some other derivative of the same. Surprised that he would be somewhat argumentative about my system there on my newsfeed, I inquired a bit more.

It became clear to me that his response was correlated with some trainings I had given while working at my former company. He was merely feeding back to me what I had dished out multiple times in multiple venues to thousands of people over the course of a few years. The truth is that I never really agreed with that particular teaching segment and here is one reason why.

It’s about words - our words and how WE place meaning on them to either help us or hold us back.

Words are ONLY words made up of letters and symbols until such time that we give meaning to them. The same word can  - and often  does - have completely different meaning to two different people. Naturally this is why communication is such a challenge in our lives.

Here is where my beef about correcting people's word usage comes in. Telling someone that they MUST use certain words and NOT use others goes against everything in my fiber and being. Conversely, helping people better understand the meaning that they place on a word is highly constructive use of one’s time and energy.

Example:  A “to-do” list. 

If someone perceives or places meaning on the word “to-do” provoking in them a negative emotion and therefore they avoid such list, it would probably make sense for them to do one of two things - change their perceived meaning behind the word or use a new word altogether.

However, if the “to-do” has no negative meaning and actually propels one forward to take action, it makes more sense to let them keep using the word rather than change it. Why spend time convincing them that “to-do” is supposedly a “bad” or inferior word when in fact to them, it is inspiring.

Back to words... 

The value of a word is really about what you BELIEVE about it and it’s meaning rather than the word itself. Let’s say you do decide to change the word “to-do” to something else (presumably more positive or upbeat) - if you still believe it is a to-do list, then the change in word usage will not create a different result. The meaning of “to-do” is just transferred to a new word and it takes on the same meaning.

In this instance, I chose to re-define the meaning of “to-do” in my vocabulary (not that it was ever negative) rather than trying to come up with a new or upbeat word. To-do in my life just means that these are the tasks I choose to accomplish that when done will propel me forward toward my goal. I don’t avoid my to-do list - rather I look forward to checking things off of it. It inspires me and keeps me focused. The same way a “success list” might for someone else. I just call mine a to-do list.

What words do you place meaning on that you might like to either change your perception of or replace with a new and more suitable word for yourself?

The point is that the choice is yours! You get to decide what words to use or not use. Have fun with it. 

And thanks to my friend for reminding me that I always have freedom of choice in my life and that just because someone tells me that their way works for them doesn’t mean it is the ONLY way.

Your SoulFire Coach,




By the way.... If you are looking for a coach or coaching team who helps you be at CHOICE in your life, we would love to talk with you. Coaching isn’t about telling people what to do or not do, it is about helping people find what works best for them. Our coaching style is the opposite of “right or wrong.” In fact, we believe that there really is no right or wrong in life - there is just your way and the way of others. You have the answers within you, so isn’t it time to find a coach who can teach you how to better communicate with yourself to get the results you desire? 






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