Apparently quite a bit, as the power of a name has been memorialized in song, literature, and religions since the beginning of recorded history. Consider the books dedicated to baby names and the care that parents take to bestow just the right name on their offspring, or religious traditions where it is blasphemous to say the name of God, or literature where villains like Voldemort are all the more terrify because their name must be whispered or not spoken at all.
Why is that? Why is there so much power in a name?
I thought that was an interesting question so I googled it and found a wonderful little essay by Loren Graham of MIT and Harvard, where he says “In Genesis we hear the first verses that “God said, ‘Let there be Light’, and there was light. Think about that statement logically. God named the thing before he created it; the naming seems to be a necessary first step towards creation.”
Wow. I think it is so helpful to understand that idea of power in a name. I’ve seen countless worksheets where you need to define your mission or the “why” for your business, and sometimes I’ve just rushed through that without mental involvement, like a kid taking a standardized test.
But naming your dream actually creates it, brings it into being. It becomes a concrete concept that you can nurture and grow and prune.
When naming your dream, it’s important to be specific and make the idea as tangible as possible. Words can be imprecise, it can take many, many words to drill down to a specific concept. If I tell you, “Visualize a candle”, the candle in your mind is very unlikely to be the same as the candle in my mind. If I want the vision in your head to match the candle on my table, I need to give you many, many more words — cylinder, in frosted glass container, white, 5 inches, orange blossom fragrance, and so on.
So dive deep into your desire for a better life and pull some specific dreams into the light of day. Name them, no matter how crazy or far-fetched or trivial they seem. Write them down, journal them, create vision boards for them.
And congratulate yourself, because you’ve taken the very first step towards making them reality.