The other night I was watching How I Met Your Mother on the couch.

Now I have watched the entire series through no less than 7 times and I can basically quote every episode, but it never seems to get old.

This particular night I watched the episode when Marshall Eriksen’s dad (Marvin) died. It never fails to make me an emotional wreck.
The following episode, which I also watched, is the funeral. This episode is aptly titled “Last Words.”
“Rent Crocodile Dundee 3. I caught it on the cable and it totally holds up.”

These were the last words that Marvin said to his son. This haunts Marshall because he wanted his dad’s final sentences to be meaningful and profound. He wrestles with how fragile life is and how he will be remembered by his friends and family. It is a painful episode for both Marshal and the couch potato(myself).
Now I don’t really know why my mind jumped to business after this episode, but it did. I began to weigh my words and how important they are in the company-client relationship as well as the human-human relationship.

I began to evaluate how I use my words when I’m calling or emailing clients. I evaluated how constructive I am in the office with my words.
I am also a youth minister at a church. On Wednesday evenings I lead a small group for 10th grade guys. Now this time is typically quite the roller coaster with topics ranging from girls, to weed, to science, to the Bible, and everywhere in between.

These past few weeks I’ve tried to be more intentional with my words when I’m with these guys. They are in their formative years, whether they acknowledge it or not, and I want to make the most it. Sure, I can cut loose and crack fart jokes with the best of them, but at the end of my time with them, have I left them with something of value?
This principle of “words” applies across all boards whether it is day to day life, in a work environment, or with peers. I have been challenged to think more about what I say and how I say it. This makes or breaks both relationships and sales.

Now as it turns out, Marshall finds a voicemail on his phone before the funeral. It’s a pocket dial from his dad shortly before his death. At the very end of the episode Marshal get’s the closure he needed. Marvin tells Marshall how much he enjoyed visiting him in New York and finally says, “I love you.”
As you interact with those around you today, no matter the relationship, be conscious of your words.
They are more important than you think.

Author Info

Brad Parnell
Founder & CEO

Brad is the Founder & CEO of Steadfast Creative, leading the team in exploring new ways to solve creative problems and bringing direction and vision for the company. His passion is building relationships, providing solutions and empowering his team to send new ideas out into the world. With over 10 years of agency experience serving local and national brands, he is focused on results for his clients and team. Outside of  work, Brad serves on the board of directors at his local Chamber of Commerce and loves giving back to the community and spending time with his wife and kids.