Today’s Brilliance from Simon Tam

If I could share 500 words to inspire, this is the important wisdom I'd want to pass along to others...

  • Make every word count.

    I once heard that “language is the primary moral choice in our life”. The words we choose can build communities, reunite loved ones, and inspire others. They can be a catalyst for change. However, our words also have the power to destroy and divide: they can start a war, reduce a lifelong relationship to a collection of memories, or end a life.

    If there is anything in life worthy of consideration, it should be the way that we use words. In nearly every creation story, life begins from words. In every civilization, it has been the storytellers, the oracles, the writers, and the masters of language that have ruled.

    It is often said to live every day as if it were the last. The words that you use should be considered with equal weight. If your life could only be judged by your words, how would you be remembered?

    Would your good intentions be overshadowed by negativity, gossip, sarcasm, and bitterness? Would your words be remembered as inspirational, loving, full of hope, and treasured by the community around you?

    Your life becomes better only when you become better. Begin with the words that you choose to shape the world around you. Everything that we know and believe in this life depends on the context of the words that we allow into our lives and the words that we share with others.

    With only a single life to live, there is no excuse to waste time by creating more negativity and dejection in our world.

    There’s a passage in Success One Day at a Time by John C. Maxwell that reads:

    More to improve and fewer to disapprove… more to say it can be done and fewer to say it’s impossible.
    More to inspire others and fewer to throw cold water on them.
    More to get into the thick of things and fewer to sit on the sidelines.
    More to point out what’s right and fewer to show what’s wrong.
    More to light a candle and fewer to curse the darkness.
    -Author Unknown

    Let’s renounce cynicism as the primary vehicle for change in the world.

    If you only had a limited number of words to share with others, what would you say? If you are only going to be remembered by your final words, what would you say? Say it.

    Beginning right now, make every word count.

    Simon Tam

    Simon is best known as the founder of The Slants, an internationally recognized performing arts organization. Simon’s unique approach to marketing and activism has resulted in features on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” the American Express Business OPEN, Myx TV, The Oregonian (front page) ELLE Magazine (Spain), and thousands of radio and television shows, websites, and trade journals. His work has appeared in over 80 countries across six continents.

    As a professional musician, he’s coordinated and performed at over 1,200 events around the world, including major festivals such as SXSW, MusicFestNW, and Asian Street Heritage Fair. He’s worked with the United States Department of Defense on “Operation Gratitude,” a series of concerts to uplift the spirits of military stationed overseas during the holidays.

    Simon’s music has won multiple “Album of the Year” and “Editor’s Choice” awards from The Los Angeles Times, Comcast/Xfinity, City Beat, and others.

    As a marketing consultant, he’s helped dozens of organizations find their niche marketing voice and empowered other aspiring entrepreneurs. Simon also serves multiple non-profit organizations as a board member, leader, and volunteer. His marketing projects and volunteerism has earned several innovation and service awards.

    In 2012, Simon was nominated as one of the “50 Most Influential Portlanders.”

    For more information, please visit

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