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Landmark in the News

Creating a Life You Love in Just a Few Words (transcript)

CBS Los Angeles KCAL-9, July 29, 2011

Landmark Spokesperson Josselyne Herman-Saccio sheds light on the influence of language in our everyday lives, and provides a 3-step process to create a life you love.

Leyna Nguyen:   Well, creating a life you love is just a few words away.
David Gonzales:   Joining us in the studio this afternoon with some talk tips is communication expert Josselyne Herman-Saccio. Thanks for being with us.
Josselyne Herman-Saccio::   Thank you so much for having me.
Leyna Nguyen:   I kind of like the sound of this…
Josselyne Herman-Saccio::   Yeah, right?
Leyna Nguyen:   but you have to explain it to me because I don’t get it yet.
Josselyne Herman-Saccio::   Well, the first thing to get is that language is very powerful, especially if you understand that there are two types of language. There’s the kind of language that describes, like I could describe your sweater or this desk, and then there’s the kind of language that creates.

So, as a communication expert with Landmark Education, we focus on that kind of communication and that kind of language, since we want to create a life you love. And if you look at the latest neuroscience studies it actually proves that the impact of language is inescapable on how we view our lives and how we interact with life.

So, we have a simple but very powerful three-step process to bring to any area of your life that’s important to you.
Leyna Nguyen:   Oh, good.
Josselyne Herman-Saccio::   So, just think of something important to you, and the first step is to distinguish the facts from the interpretation you have about the facts. So, now, you could use –
David Gonzales:   Huh?
Josselyne Herman-Saccio::   Yeah, here we go. I know. People think their interpretation are the facts. So, if you take money for example, and you can do this with relationships or anything, but money is kind of something we all have in common and it’s sort of a topical issue right now.
Leyna Nguyen:   Uh-huh.
Josselyne Herman-Saccio::   Then there’s the interpretation you have about those facts, like, “Oh, I don’t have enough money,” or, “I have plenty of money.” I wish I had that interpretation.
Leyna Nguyen:   Or, “I really have to spend it on that,” when you really don’t have to, right?
Josselyne Herman-Saccio::   Shoes. It’s always the shoes, isn’t it?
Leyna Nguyen:   They’re a necessity sometimes.
Josselyne Herman-Saccio::   Exactly. So, there’s the interpretation. So, you separate out the facts from the interpretation. Then the next step is to actually know yourself, and get clear about what you’re committed to.

So, I could give a personal example from my life about my grandma. I had a story about my grandma that she was mean, okay? And that she was scary. And I used to call her, because I wanted to be a good granddaughter. And I would say, “Hi, Grandma. How are you?” And she’d say, “How would you know? You never call me.”

And I’d be like, “Oh.” So, that was the story. Now, when I did the first step and I distinguished the facts from the story, I got clear about what I was committed to with my grandmother was having a great relationship with her.

And so, I called her, and I said, “How are you?” And she said, “How would you know? You never call me.” And instead of thinking she’s mean like that’s true, I separated it. And I said, “Okay, that’s not what’s happening. What she’s saying is I don’t call her.” And I said, “You’re right. I haven’t called you in a real long time. How are you?”

She said, “I’m fine. How are you?’ And it was like over in that second. And for the next 16 years, we spoke four to five times a week, and had a best friend kind of relationship, which brings me to the third step.

Most important step, okay? Is you’ve got to actually discover the unrealized potential of language by creating in your calendar action steps to fulfill on what’s important to you. So, with regard to my grandma, it was putting in my calendar to call her more often.

Or, with regard to your money, it could be calling your mortgage broker to see if you can get a lower interest rate. So, if you do those three steps, you can get language working for you to create a life you love.
David Gonzales:   It would seem as though it might be difficult to get that distinguish step down.
Josselyne Herman-Saccio::   That’s a tough one for some people.
David Gonzales:   Like they say, perception is reality.
Josselyne Herman-Saccio::   Well, that’s exactly why language has such an impact on our relationships in life because how we perceive is through language. And if we can actually start to examine the language we’re using to describe the facts in our life, we can start to have some access to creating interpretations that are more empowering than the ones we have.
David Gonzales:   Right.
Leyna Nguyen:   So, aside from that what would you say is the biggest mistake that most people make?
Josselyne Herman-Saccio::   Thinking that what they think is real. Thinking that we’re grandma’s –
Leyna Nguyen:   So, we’re back to step one.
Josselyne Herman-Saccio::   It is. It’s step one.
Leyna Nguyen:   If we could get over step one the other stuff might be a little easier.
Josselyne Herman-Saccio::   Well, I think that if you get clear about what the facts are it’s easy to see what you’re committed to. I think that your story clouds your commitment and has you kind of living in a why things aren’t happening rather than what you really want. If you can focus on what you want, then you can be freed up to take action. But if you’re focusing on why you don’t have what you want, you can’t possibly be looking at what actions produce what you want.
David Gonzales:   Are there tips for doing that, tips for seeing things for what they are, rather than what you think they might be?
Josselyne Herman-Saccio::   Yeah. I would actually get into a conversation with someone else because sometimes you’re not the best judge of what’s happening. So, I would look at, “Okay, What are the facts about?” Do you have a specific situation in mind, Dave? I know you have something you’re thinking.
Leyna Nguyen:   Let’s put you on the spot, David.
David Gonzales:   No. I’m pretty much perfect.
Josselyne Herman-Saccio::   There you go. Well, maybe dealing with your perfection and the reaction of other people to your perfection, okay?


There are the facts like you are perfect, and then there’s –
David Gonzales:   Absolutely.
Josselyne Herman-Saccio::   – then there’s the story you have about those facts, like people just don’t like that, right? So, looking at that, what actually is the facts? You know, with body image or with anything having to do with your career, your boss; these are the facts. “I weigh this much.” And then you have an interpretation.

Those facts aren’t necessarily connected to those interpretations in reality. They’re connected by virtue of how we think. And if we can separate out the meanings, we can start to loosen the grips of those meanings.
David Gonzales:   Yeah.
Leyna Nguyen:   Well, I can see where this would really work out when you’re looking at relationships, whether it’s personal relationships or people at work, your boss. I mean this –
Josselyne Herman-Saccio::   Totally. I mean even your employees. I mean people who work with you.
Leyna Nguyen:   Yeah, uh-huh.
Josselyne Herman-Saccio::   I mean it’s unbelievable. If you can actually start to relate to what’s happening as distinct from your story, you have a lot of power to actually impact what’s happening.
Leyna Nguyen:   Yeah. That’s great. I get it now. Yeah.
David Gonzales:   The power of language to give you the life you love. Very interesting.
Leyna Nguyen:   All right. Thank you so much for joining us.
Josselyne Herman-Saccio::   Thank you so much.
Leyna Nguyen:   We appreciate it. One, two, three. Just like that.
    [End of Transcript]

Tips To Create A Life You Love

  1. Distinguish: Distinguishing fact from fiction helps to create a life you love. Get clear about the facts.

  2. Know Yourself: You know what you’re committed to and what you’re not committed to. So, get clear about your commitments in life and communicate that!

  3. Discover Unrealized Potential: Once you get clear about the facts and find what you’re committed to, put it in a calendar so you’re sure to see your dreams realized.