I've been working on a project to purge my garage of all old and unneeded items. It's a big project and I keep myself going by saying, "eventually, I'll get it together." I love to catch my inner dialogue or learn what kinds of things other people say to themselves as they go through life.
At best, our inner comments amuse, inspire, and encourage us. At worst, they badger, berate, and belittle us. But most inner commentary is more pedestrian, merely reminding us of something to do or noting something in life. Recently, I noticed how often I use the word, "eventually," with myself, usually in some variety of the idea that "eventually, I will get this together."
“Eventually” is a derivative of event from latin: e = out venire = to come. It was originally used to mean the consequence of anything and was once used to describe fortune or fate. “Eventually" has the further connotation of a time period, something that will take or has taken time and, like most words ending with “ly,” it tends to put things in motion in the mind. It implies an incremental change rather than an abrupt one, which means that it tends to include or imply a set of causal or related “events."
Eventually, this will all make sense!
It can be used in a predictive or suspensive mode, setting up an expectation but also distancing from it. It is a great way to introduce an idea or topic, putting it on the horizon, so the listener can become familiar with it, yet far enough away that it does not create too much discomfort in the present (eventually, we'll have to face the bully). Or it can be used to create suspense in reference to something desirable but is not yet available (eventually, we will have saved enough for that dream vacation).
"Eventually" creates a timeline in the mind, but the point of reference on the timeline will change depending on the sentence it qualifies. For instance:
"They will come around and join us, eventually" -> the eventuality is in the future and the events in the process are also in the future.
"They eventually came around and joined us" -> the eventuality is in the past and the events that made it happen are in the past.
"They are coming round and will, eventually, join us" -> the eventuality is in the future and some events have already happened and some have yet to happen.
So, eventually, I will get the garage together. I manage this eventuality by scheduling an hour on it several times a week and longer blocks when I can. I am going through boxes of photos, old collage works, a mishmash of things collected, and hordes of electronics. Little by little, it is improving. I look forward to the day I have a clutter free garage, things neatly on shelves and plenty of empty space. And it will happen. Eventually.
A Note On NLP And Word Play:
Exploring how words impact inner experience is one of the greatest gifts I got from Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). NLP tracks shifts in “sub modalities," which are the variable qualities of the pictures, sounds, and sensations that compose inner experience. For instance, you can take the image of a blue dot in your mind and make it bigger or smaller, you can bring it closer or zoom it off into the distance, you can can make it brighter or dimmer, and you can make it move or imagine it as a still image. Size, location, brightness, and movement are all sub-modalities of the visual system. There are many sub modalities for each system and these variables determine, to a large degree, the quality of any given inner experience.
What common words or phrases do you use
and repeat often in your inner dialogue?
© Nick LeForce
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