As I complete my first week of The Simple 30, my month long exercise of living daily life as a modern lady monk, today I thinking about adjectives.
What is a modern lady monk? Read about it here.
I recently listened to an interview with Chip Conley, head of hospitality at Airbnb who has previously owned and run hotels for 20+ years. His method to success is to use adjectives to actively describe each hotel he works on. These adjectives focus his design, staff, and experience of the hotel.
He now helps hosts of Airbnb's develop their adjectives in order to successfully run their businesses.
I thought about this and realized something.
I do this on stage and in performance. I make sure each moment is thought out with clarity and specificity, using adjectives to ensure my character is never without a point of view.
I'm thinking, why not do this for my real life? And then maybe you can do it for your life. It's a win-win.
Let's start with the basics
What is an adjective? For those of us who suck at grammar I'll explain it.
A word or phrase added to a noun to describe it.
As in shy kid, pretty lady, lazy river.
I'd love to be on a lazy river right now, wouldn't you?
The point of this exercise is to distill down what adjectives you'd like to define you, the objects you create and the relationships you enter into.
How can you live your most specific life? I sound SO like Oprah right ladies?
No? Just me thinking that?
This past year has made me realize that a life rooted in intention is less chaotic and will help me focus how I need to be, with what I need to do it, and with whom it is.
Ooh! This is such a great idea and I'm excited for us to get started!
I started with easy words that I identify myself with and then I used a thesaurus to drill down even deeper to the adjective and noun I want to define me. The more specific the better.
I didn't choose simple words without the noun attached. I found it was too easy for me to use words like "fun, perky, annoying". We all know I'm those things.
By focusing them down to five, you find your priorities start to become concrete.
It's much harder to put the adjective with the noun, you'll see- but it results in more of a defined statement. So although it may take more time and effort, the result is much more specific. For Example: ambitious prostitute.
Don't ask. It just came to me and I went with it.
I'll do mine and then you can do yours.
5 adjectives I want to define my LIFE
- Skilled entertainer
- Methodical learner
- Conscientious conversationalist
- Deliberate creative
- Divergent thinker
**and then two bonuses that just came to me (mainly because I realized it would be sorta sh*tty to leave out my role as wife and mother)
- Accessible mother
- Accommodating wife
5 adjectives that I want to define the objects I CREATE
- Spontaneous jokes
- Ambitious ideas
- Valued concepts
- Joyous laughs
- Methodic posts
5 adjectives that I want to define the RELATIONSHIPS I enter into
- Honest confidants
- Equal partners
- Smart readers
- Curious intellectuals
- Magnanimous jokester
I know I know, mine are super specific. You may not really know what I mean for most of them, but that doesn't matter. The point is I know what they mean. I can them use them as my guide for when I stray off course, something that happens to me ALOT.
It's easier to get specific about your words by using a thesaurus and dictionary in order to be as specific as possible.
Specificity is the key to a good life. Who said that? Oprah?
No! Me! I said it. You're welcome.
I would never be vague on stage, why would I do it in real life?
Just for grins & giggles I'll explain how I got to my last "relationship" adjective: Magnanimous jokester.
What the hell is that and how did I put those two words together?
Well I thought, "I want people in my life who are funny, jokester type of people. I don't want a jerk jokester who takes advantage of peoples insecurities and makes fun of them. I want a person who uses thoughtful wit designed to make others feel good."
Did a little research, looked up some words. Boom. Magnanimous is a "generous or forgiving person, especially toward someone less powerful than oneself."
So I want people in my lives who are funny but not in an asshole type of way. Get it?
Now you go to it. Don't worry if it's not specific enough. Anything is good enough to get you started. And if you're anything like me you'll wake up in the middle of the night thinking of the adjectives you should have used.
Just me that is the dork here? I get it.
But I'm a SPECIFIC DORK.