Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Choose your words

One of the basic things I learned in my former advertising career is that the way we describe things shapes people's perceptions of them. Consider the difference, then, between:

—I travel the country full time in a minimalist RV

—I live in a van

Both statements are true, but the mental pictures they create are extremely different. The choice of how we van dwellers describe our lives affects not only other's perceptions of us, but also our perceptions of ourselves. Am I a loser or an adventurer? Am I living the nightmare of homelessness or the dream of freedom?

I think this is more than some sort of power-of-positive-thinking mental trickery. I think it's a manifestation of one's fundamental character and temperament. Who am I—really? How do I describe myself to myself?


  1. When I tell people I live in a van they are appalled. When they see it they are astonished and envious.