The Power of Words: Unlock Your Ability to Learn and Do Anything

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Have you ever been frustrated because you couldn't learn or do something?

Have you ever felt stupid in a subject or activity?

Have you ever reached the bottom of a page totally confused about what you had just read?

Would you like to know the secrets of being able to learn and do anything?

Visit http://www.strangepowerofwords.com to learn more!

In this book, you ll learn...

How you can use words to awaken your inner genius.

The ten ways you can misunderstand what you re reading and how to handle each.

How to use the system taught to help your child learn and do anything.

A surefire way defeat learning disorders such as ADD and ADHD and become a great learner.

A special method of approaching new subjects or activities that will allow you to quickly grasp them and get results.

The Holy Grail of Learning and how to achieve it.

And more...

Visit http://www.strangepowerofwords.com to learn more!

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The Power of Words: Unlock Your Ability to Learn and Do Anything

  1. 1. POWERTHE OF WORDS UNLOCK YOUR ABILITY TO LEARN AND DO ANYTHING www.strangepowerofwords.com WATERBURY PUBLISHERS w w w . w a t e r b u r y p u b l i s h e r s . c o m
  2. 2. © 2009 Waterbury Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Waterbury Publishers, Inc. www.waterburypublishers.comNo part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system,or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, pho-tocopying and recording otherwise without the express written permission of the copyright owner.For general information on our other products and services please contact our Customer Care Department at help@waterburypublishers.com. ISBN 978-0-9824227-0-0 Written by Sean Clouden Cover design by Mario Kroes and Sarah Clouden Illustrations by Alex Scott First Edition Printed in Canada
  3. 3. “You must read The Power of Words! You need to get it if you want tocontrol your future and take advantage of the KNOWLEDGE avail-able to all of us. Your future success is only limited to the amount ofaction you take, and the amount of action you take is only limited tohow secure you are in what you understand. I recommend this simpleand easy to read book by Sean Clouden. I use the content every dayto make decisions and take action.” —Grant Cardone Sales expert and author“If you invest the short time it takes to read, understand and applythe basic principles in this book, there is little doubt you will be amuch bigger success than you otherwise would have been. Theretruly is POWER in words . . . .” —Doug Dohring Founder of Neopets.com and CEO of The Dohring Company“As a best selling author I can attribute my success to understandingthe power of words. This book should be in the hands of every childand every parent, for the information can change the course of cul-tures and lead Mankind into a much brighter, happier world. Don’tbelieve me? Read The Power of Words and you’ll see!” —Tony Melvin Author of From Red to Black: How to Get Out of Debt“Words are the building blocks of communication, understanding,and life. Creative thoughts and illusions are prerequisites for effectiveactions, which are the cornerstones of the competence and abilitiesthat bring about happiness and wealth.“This book presents the most robust explanation of the power ofunderstanding words, as they determine the sphere of one’s thoughts,illusions, and actions.” —Dr. Rubik AtamianAssociate Professor of Accounting at The University of Texas Pan-American
  4. 4. “I’m more excited about learning and reading and expanding my vo-cabulary than I thought possible. When I saw the title of the book Ithought I knew what I was in for. I was so wrong! This book bringstogether incredible data from many authors, philosophers, and histo-rians on the subject of words and just how powerful they really areand why. I want more! After this read I am definitely looking furtherinto this!” —Joy Gendusa CEO of PostcardMania, Inc. and Inc. 500 recipient“Good communication is the key to building a successful businessand words are the key to good communication. Sean Clouden gets itright in The Power of Words.” —Richard Haddrill CEO of Bally Technologies, Inc.“The Power of Words was an incredible learning experience for me.As a co-owner of a management training company I have seen first-hand how a client can get hung up on a word or words and seeminglyparalyze right there. We would find his ability to apply what he hadlearned had slowed or stopped. Hours are sometimes spent trying toget the client to be able to “figure out” what he was studying so thathe can apply his training. By using the data in The Power of Words, mystaff can now quickly identify precisely what word or term he did notfully understand, clear it up and magically he can now apply what hehas learned. The client is happy, his organization expands and he toorecognizes The Power of Words. Thank you so much for this simpleand powerful book.” —Shaun Kirk Co-Founder of Measurable Solutions, Inc.
  5. 5.  Dedication  This book is dedicated to the great thinkers who knew that thesimplest truths are sometimes the greatest and who never forgot to consider the small things. v
  6. 6.  Acknowledgements Thank you mom and dad for all of your support, and thank you Sarah for your undying patience and understanding. Thanks are also due to Sonya, Mario, Kiersten, and Lisa. This project wouldn’t be possible without your help. vii
  7. 7. “The beginning of wisdom is a definition of terms.” –Socrates
  8. 8. CONTENTS Dedication v Acknowledgements vii Important Note xiii Introduction xvChapter 1 The Magic Window 1Chapter 2 The Secret You Didn’t Realize You Knew 5Chapter 3 The Strange Power of Words 11Chapter 4 The Only Way to Become a Genius 19Chapter 5 Words Can Set You Free? 29Chapter 6 The Beauty of Conceptual Understanding and How to Achieve It 33Chapter 7 Cicero’s Secret 39Chapter 8 Escaping the Quicksand of Misunderstood Words 43Chapter 9 The One Divining Rod That Works 49Chapter 10 The Mind of Wittgenstein 53Chapter 11 The Hunt for the Golden Dictionary 55Chapter 12 The Ten Ways You Can Misunderstand a Word 65Chapter 13 Your Journey Begins Here 73Chapter 14 Completing the Circle 75 xi
  9. 9. Chapter 15 Your Child Can Be a Genius Too 77Chapter 16 How to Restore Aptitude in Any Subject and the Ability to Do Any Activity 81Chapter 17 The Deadly Curse of . . . 87Chapter 18 The Philosopher’s Stone 91Chapter 19 The Holy Grail of Learning 97Chapter 20 Your Challenge 103 Glossary 107 Index 117xii
  10. 10. ImpOrTaNT NOTE In the back of this book you will find an extensive glossary thatcontains many commonly misunderstood terms. It is there to aid youin understanding this book, so please use it! xiii
  11. 11. INTrOduCTION The greatest minds in history have known about and used thepower of words to illuminate the world. Every advance of knowl-edge and every great movement that have become footprints in ourhistory began in the same humble way: as an idea flashing beforesomeone’s eyes. Through the power of words, these ideas, so beautifully ex-pressed, were given lives of their own. From their birthplace in oneperson’s mind, words enabled them to travel the globe, endure thecenturies, and influence the way we view ourselves, our fellows, andour existence as a whole. Leonardo da Vinci’s words gave us revolutionary insights in thefields of science, mathematics, art, and engineering, and they revealeda mind still considered superhuman almost 500 years after his death. Shakespeare wove words into some of the most legendary storiesever told, sparking a literary revolution that not only expanded theworld of drama and poetry, but the English language itself. Sir Isaac Newton’s words have proven to be some of the most in-fluential in humankind’s history: they became sacred laws of sciencethat changed the way we understand the universe. xv
  12. 12. Through the power of words, these people and their ideas havebeen granted immortality. But most of us don’t understand the incredible power of words.Words have the power to unlock the full potential of your intelli-gence, success, and ability in any area of your life. But ignoring thepower of words can lead you to stupidity, failure, and disability. We live in a Golden Age of Knowledge but a Dark Age of Learn-ing Abilities. We’ve accumulated so much knowledge of life but solittle about how to best learn it. We’ve turned to science to solve ourlearning difficulties, but all that’s gotten us is complex theories aboutthe brain, psychiatric labels, and dangerous, mind-altering drugs. As you will soon see, the same great geniuses who built the foun-dation of this Golden Age of Knowledge also gave us the blueprintfor the Golden Age of Learning Abilities. All we have to do is followit. This book is going to show you exactly how to follow this blue-print, and it will take you on a journey of understanding the roots ofknowledge, wisdom, and ability. By the end, you will not only under-stand the incredible power of words, but you will also take away aneasy-to-use, precise system that will unlock your ability to learn anddo anything. So let’s get started.xvi
  13. 13. Chapter One ThE magIC WINdOW “The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential . . . these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” –Confucius, deeply influential Chinese philosopher What if you had a magic window? Whenever you look through your magic window, everything thatwas once confusing becomes simple. Everything that is complicatedor tough to understand becomes a breeze. If you could look into the business world through such a win-dow, how long would it take you to build an empire? What would you use the window for? Think about this. Wouldyou become a business mogul? Would you become an incredible art-ist? Maybe you’d get a degree? Imagine it. Like a strong wind blowing away clouds, all false ideasand theories would vanish. All uncertainty would disappear, and allthat would remain is a clear sunbeam of confidence, truth, and sim-plicity. Galileo once wrote, “All truths are easy to understand once theyare discovered; the point is to discover them.” What if you couldquickly and easily discover truths in any field or activity? In short, you would be unstoppable, wouldn’t you? Once you understand the simple concepts this book is about toreveal, you will have such a window for any activity in life. Business, 1
  14. 14. T he Po w er o f Wo r d sschool, relationships, hobbies—anything. Business. School. Relationships. Hobbies. Anything. Sounds impossible, right? Well, you don’t have to believe it yet, but by the end of this book,you will. Read on.2
  15. 15. T he M a g i c W i n d o w 3
  16. 16. Chapter Two ThE SECrET YOu dIdN’T rEalIzE YOu KNEW “Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.” –Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States When you were a child, can you remember how exciting it wasto learn new things? Remember your feeling of success and accom-plishment that came with riding a bike for the first time, learning toswim, and playing your first sport? Life was great, wasn’t it? Do you still feel the same excitement toward life? Do you stillwake up every day just itching to get started? If not, what do youthink it would take to revive those feelings? Well, you will soon discover how you can restore that power andkeep it forever! You may not realize it yet, but your childhood actually holds thesecret to your competence, intelligence, success, and happiness. Youlearned this lesson early, but you probably didn’t recognize it for whatit was—the playbook for leading a truly fulfilling and great life. Yes, the playing field has changed—you’ve gone from the oldneighborhood to the “real world”—but the rules are actually thesame. American oil baron Henry L. Doherty once said, “Get over theidea that only children should spend their time in study. Be a studentso long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all 5
  17. 17. T he Po w er o f Wo r d syour life.” Keep in mind, Henry left school at age twelve to work at the Co-lumbia Gas Company. He aggressively educated himself, and by hiseighth year at the company, he had risen to the position of chief en-gineer. Soon after, he started his own company; by his mid-twenties,he had already begun building his empire—an empire that would ulti-mately include more than two hundred companies, mainly consistingof utilities and oil refineries. So, what is the secret to recapturing all these wonderful feelingswe had as a child? Would you believe the answer actually lies in studying? How couldthat be? Well, let’s look at this. Why should anyone bother studying? Be-cause you need to pass an exam? To get a degree? To sound smart?None of these things are the real reason why you should study. Years ago, a good friend of mine, a business professor at a presti-gious university, shared an insightful statement with me about study-ing. He said if you spent an hour or two every day studying any fieldyou are actively involved in, within two to three years, you’d be inthe top 1 to 5 percent of that field. He came to that conclusion aftermany years of meeting, talking with, and reading about successfulpeople. He found many of these people were self-taught, and all weredie-hard students of their fields. They were always learning something new; they never felt theyknew it all. More importantly, however, they were able to apply whatthey learned. Years ago, a university conducted a study that delved into the fac-tors of success. The researchers analyzed salespeople who were earn-ing more than $250,000 per year in sales, and they considered manydifferent aspects of these people. After much research, however, theyfound these successful people had one key thing in common. Whatwas it? Speed of implementation. What is “speed of implementation”? Well, it’s simply the time6
  18. 18. T he S ec r et Yo u D i d n ’t R ea l i z e You Knew 7
  19. 19. T he Po w er o f Wo r d sbetween the moment you hear or learn about something and the mo-ment you put it into action. This study found that these successful people would get an ideaand immediately put it in action to find out whether it worked. Theywere fanatical with their speed of implementation, and they made alot of money operating this way. As Thomas Edison once said, “The value of an idea lies in theusing of it.” What I’m getting at here is successful people waste no time indoing things. They take swift, effective action and get results becauseof it. In his dictionary of 1828, Noah Webster wrote that “to study”means “to apply the mind to; to read and examine for the purpose oflearning and understanding.” Before you are able to do anything competently, you must learnabout it and understand it. As you probably know, the only way tolearn and understand things is to study them. Aristippus, a Greekphilosopher and student of Socrates, said that “native ability withouteducation is like a tree without fruit.” Unfortunately, getting fruit to grow in our mental tree can some-times be frustratingly hard. We’ve all experienced this before. Youcan surely remember times where you failed to successfully learn anddo something. But what if you were so good at studying you could learn andunderstand anything, and then be able to immediately do it? Imagine ifyou could take anything you’re already good at and rapidly accelerateyour skills through simple study? Wouldn’t it be amazing if you knew, with confidence, that youcould do anything because of your ability to quickly learn about andunderstand it? What would you learn? What would you do? This book will teach you an incredibly simple yet ingenious meth-od of study that will give you just that ability.8
  20. 20. T he S ec r et Yo u D i d n ’t R ea l i z e You Knew The legendary writer and philosopher Francis Bacon once saidthat “natural abilities are like natural plants—they need pruning bystudy.” I’m going to show you how to plant the seeds of ability andthen grow and prune them into a stunning landscape of competenceand intelligence that will leave people in awe. What I’m about to reveal isn’t speed reading. It has nothing to dowith memory tricks. You can apply it entirely on your own to any sub-ject, and it has been around for over thirty years. Millions of peoplefrom every walk of life already use this fascinating method every day,yet chances are, you’ve never seen anything like it. And it all begins with the simplest of things . . . words. 9
  21. 21. Chapter Three ThE STraNgE pOWEr Of WOrdS “Words are some of the most powerful and important things I know . . . Language is the tool of love and the weapon of hatred. It’s the bright red warning flag of danger—and the stone founda- tion of diplomacy and peace.” –Unknown There once was a man named Johnson O’Connor. O’Connorwas a Harvard graduate who spent his early years researching astro-nomical mathematics under the famous astronomer Percival Lowell.In the 1920s, General Electric hired O’Connor to study and test itssuccessful employees and discover which traits they had in commonthat made them good at their jobs. The company wanted to be ableto test new employees and, based on the results, assign them to jobsthat best fit their personalities and skills. This research and experi-mentation was the beginning of O’Connor’s lifelong journey: thestudy of human talents and learning. To expand his research efforts, in 1930, he founded the Hu-man Engineering Laboratory at the Stevens Institute of Technol-ogy. O’Connor gathered data on skills specific to various professions,but he also gathered general data regarding abilities and learning. Helaunched a research project to determine whether certain talents weremore important than others in becoming successful and advancingin one’s career. It was during this testing that he made an unexpecteddiscovery. He found a person’s vocabulary level was the best single predictor of 11
  22. 22. T he Po w er o f Wo r d ssuccess in any area. In other words, an understanding of not only gen-eral language but of the words specific to the activity was the mostimportant factor that separated the unsuccessful from the successful! This discovery began O’Connor’s fascination with language andits connection with ability and success. In another study, O’Connorfound a person’s vocabulary directly correlated with how far that per-son rose in an organization. Presidents of companies scored amongthe highest in vocabulary of those people he tested. In his later writings, O’Connor concluded the understanding ofwords was a major key to unlocking human potential. Why is this so? According to O’Connor, the answer seems tobe that words are the tools with which we think and with which wegrasp others’ thoughts. O’Connor fiercely opposed those educatorswho believed only the usage of words mattered and that standard,precise definitions, such as those found in a dictionary, were irrel-evant. “We can’t let the ignorant define our words for us,” he argued. Many other influential men and women have written about thepower of words. Famous author Rudyard Kipling once said, “Wordsare, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” Philoso-pher Jean-Paul Sartre described words as “loaded pistols.” Over 100years ago, Edgar Allan Poe even wrote a short story called “The Pow-er of Words.” “Words have set whole nations in motion and upheaved the dryhard ground on which rests our social fabric,” wrote the great novel-ist Joseph Conrad. “Give me the right word and the right accent andI will move the world.” But do most of us value words the way thesepeople did? Probably not. Most of us think the only reason to knowwords is to have a good vocabulary so we can sound intelligent orscore well on tests, right? What gives? Did these writers and philosophers know somethingwe don’t? Just how powerful are words? Would you believe your inability to learn or to do anythinghas only to do with you not understanding words?12
  23. 23. T he S t r a n g e Po w er o f Wo rds 13
  24. 24. T he Po w er o f Wo r d s What if misunderstood words are the prime factor in stu-pidity and are at the bottom of all confusion? Would you believe if you understood every word you read,you’d be able to immediately apply what you have learned andget results? As you will soon see, those statements are dead-on. It soundsoutrageous, right? I can hear your mind saying, “no way . . . howcould that be?” Well, let’s take a look at this. We’re going to do an exercise here that illustrates the importanceof knowing words when trying to do things. We’re going to paint apicture in our minds. 1. Paint a picture of a house. 2. Paint a fence around the house. 3. Paint a bird flying over the house. 4. Now paint a dub in the front yard. Have you done that yet? No? Do it. Paint a dub. Why can’t you do it? What happened? You probably don’t know what a dub is, do you? Well, dub is aScottish word for a pond. So, paint a dub in the front yard. Now you could do it, couldn’t you? Though simple, this example is very effective in showing whathappens when you don’t understand a word. Nothing drains the windfrom the sails of your ability to do something faster than misunder-stood words.14
  25. 25. T he S t r a n g e Po w er o f Wo rds When you want to learn how to do something, you must un-derstand certain things about it. The hows and whys. The dos anddon’ts. You must understand these things conceptually; if you merelymemorize words but have no true understanding of them, you maypass tests, but you won’t be able to build machines. Remember, words represent concepts and things. A concept is anidea of something formed in the mind. One has the concept, forinstance, that another person is tired, that people are bored, or thatsomeone feels sorry for themself. Thought and emotion both areincluded in concepts. Let’s do a quick exercise in conceptual under-standing. Think of a picture of the inside of your car. Look at the steeringwheel, the gear shift, the pedals. Good. Those are pictures you arelooking at—that isn’t conceptual understanding. Now get the idea of how you drive the car. Get the idea of howit feels to coordinate the gas, brake and clutch pedals and use the gearshift. Did you have to think of a bunch of pictures to do this? No,you just know how it feels. That’s conceptual understanding. If you ever learned to play an instrument, this should make im-mediate sense to you. Can you remember in the beginning when youhad to visualize the instrument and think about where to place yourhands in order to play the music? And then as you got better, your hands almost knew exactlywhere to go on their own. You gained a conceptual understanding ofhow to do it and just acted. Let’s relate this to words. Get a picture of an angry person. Lookat his or her face and posture. Now get the idea of the feeling of anger. What is that emotionlike? See the difference? Simply memorizing things doesn’t give you a conceptual under-standing, either. Sure, you could conceptually understand somethingand memorize the words used to communicate it if you wanted, butcan you remember a time—maybe in school—where you memorizedsomething but had no real understanding of it? Sure, you could parrot off 15
  26. 26. T he Po w er o f Wo r d sthe words but they didn’t add up to any sort of clear idea in your mind. Youprobably couldn’t really think with the information and use it, could you? Realize that words mean nothing on their own. They are simplyvehicles for expressing ideas, feelings, and experiences. If we wereall telepathic, life would be much easier—you’d simply beam yourconcepts and the person receiving them would immediately and fullyunderstand your thoughts, feelings, pictures, and so on. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. But there’s a solution: words.Words are the symbols we use to represent our reality. When you readsomething, you’re observing into someone else’s world; if you wantto fully understand it like you understand your own, you’d better fullyunderstand the words that person is using to describe it. When you’re trying to learn and do something, you have two op-tions: you can try to figure it all out on your own—observing, think-ing, and testing—or you can take a shortcut and have someone whohas worked it out explain things to you, whether in person or througha book. Either way, as you know, you have to study something beforeyou can do it. If you’re studying and don’t understand various words, you won’tcorrectly understand the sentences. If you don’t correctly understandsentences, you won’t correctly understand paragraphs. If you don’t cor-rectly understand paragraphs, you won’t correctly understand pages. By the end of studying a book in which you found many mis-understood words, who knows what you would and wouldn’t under-stand. You’d have a drastically different view of the subject or activitythan the author—the person who is trying to communicate to youthe attitudes, ideas, and actions that he or she has found beneficial orsuccessful. A good analogy for this would be shooting a bow and arrow. Ifyou’re going to try and hit a bulls-eye fifty feet away, you’re going toneed to launch the arrow with perfect precision—with just enoughforce and at just the right angle. If you are off by a few inches of pullor by a degree or two of angle, you could end up missing the targetby many feet. When you’re trying to learn something, the “bulls-eye” of study16
  27. 27. T he S t r a n g e Po w er o f Wo rdsis full conceptual understanding with no confusion and the ability toimmediately do it. Understanding the words is the same as precisely aiming the ar-row. If you fully understand the words—if your arrow is perfectlyaimed—you’ll nail the bulls-eye and fully understand the conceptsbeing communicated. The ability to do follows naturally. If you don’t understand words—if your aim is bad—you’ll missthe target completely and end up with weird ideas and problems do-ing anything with them. Herbert Spencer, the English philosopher who coined the phrase“survival of the fittest” in the 1800s, said, “How often misused wordsgenerate misleading thoughts.” And how right he was. Now, you may be already thinking, “learning words . . . how bor-ing does that sound?” Yes, I’ll admit, it doesn’t sound very glamorous.But trust me, it is effective. It’s like working out. Toiling away in thegym every day isn’t an appealing activity, but having high alertnessand energy levels and seeing a toned body staring back at you in themirror every day is, right? Well, the methods revealed in this booktone your mind and actually make it fun. So, how do you unlock the power of words? Don’t worry; it’s not as hard as you might think. It might seemdifficult at first, but as you practice what you learn here, the entireprocess will become easier and easier. And then, one day, it’ll justbecome second nature to you. In his two-volume work, Six Blind Elephants, Steve Andreas wrote,“It is one thing to realize that the beginning stages of learning areoften inevitably difficult and uncomfortable. It is quite another to usethat discomfort as a reason not to learn anything new.” So keep an open mind, and just relax and read. I’ll make thelearning process easy for you. 17
  28. 28. “The Secret to Being Able to Learn and Do Anything Will Be Revealed…”Thank you for previewing The Power of Words. I hope you enjoyed itand in the very next chapter, titled “The Only Way to Become a Ge-nius,” you’ll be introduced to the first tool—the foundation—of thesimple system that will enable you to unlock your ability to learn doanything. Here’s a quick summary of some of the things you’ll learnin later chapters…• The first MAJOR HIDDEN BARRIER to learning anythingand how to crumble it.• The groundbreaking research of a Harvard graduate anduniversity professor that revealed the best single predic¬tor ofyour success in any area of your life. This will really make youthink …• The incredibly powerful step-by-step system developed byone of the most prolific writers and philosophers of the 20thcentury that empowers you to IMMEDIATELY overcome con-fusion and gain a CRYSTAL-CLEAR under-standing of any-thing. This is worth 10 times the book’s price alone.• The REAL cause of stupidity in any area, subject or activ¬ityand how to systematically increase your intelligence.• The “common denominator” of high-six-figure earners andhow you can follow in their footsteps. Isaac Newton was a bigbeliever in this too.•The key piece of knowledge that allows you to achieve “con-ceptual understanding”—the state necessary before you cantake any effective action in any field.
  29. 29. • How to tap into the power of words to literally awaken yourinner GENIUS. This is the only REAL way to get there.• The “philosopher’s stone” of learning that empowers you to“MAGICALLY” turn cold, lifeless theory into SHINING RE-SULTS that speak for themselves.• How to SQUASH One of the most INSIDIOUS motivationkillers out there that drags you down and keeps you from beingable to take rapid, effective action.•And more … Order your copy today! Go to http://www.strangepowerofwords.com!

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