Deliriously Alive

Manohla Dargis, film critic for the New York Times, is enraptured.

The just-released Italian movie “The Great Beauty,” she swoons, is deliriously alive. No worries, we’re not heading into a film review here. But I am instantly seduced by the phrase deliriously alive. Deliriously alive.

It makes me want to run and see the movie. Such is the power of energized language.

In an MBA class I teach every summer at a university in Massachusetts, I ask my students: How do we know that a person has great energy? Matilda, sitting in the second row to my left, raises her hand.

They’re alive, she proclaims.

Matilda does so with fervor and a near ferocious commitment.

Yes, Matilda IS alive as she speaks.

Now super-charge the word alive with the word delirious, and we’re suddenly talking about truly infectious energy.

I have learned a thing or two about the ways in which you and I can influence the unfolding of an event. There’s stuff we simply have no control over. Some conversations will NOT be deliriously alive.

But we CAN choose deliriously alive language to super-charge a conversation. Any conversation. And we can do so, anytime.

Consider a little experiment this week.

Think of 3 phrases that you are likely to use this week. Phrases that are part and parcel of how you express yourself.

Stuff like I am so pleased to meet you or Great job with this report.

Perfectly fine phrases.

Now do a synonym search. Super-charge these phrases. Find adjectives that are bolder, more surprising, unexpected. Evocative. Electric.

Yes, adjectives that are deliriously alive.

That’s simply not me, might be your first reaction. That’s just not how I talk.

No. It’s the YOU that you do not yet know.

Or simpler yet. Think of it as a foreign language. Languages can be learned.

This week, experiment.

Do your homework – foreign language tends to not materialize on a whim. Super-charge 3 key phrases you often use with high-octane synonyms.

And notice how your deliriously alive language instantly infects everyone you speak with.

That’s influencing power. That’s how we invoke energy. That’s how we inspire folks to act.

Delirious joy, indeed.