‘It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.’ If you enjoy classic novels, you’ll recognise that as the opening line of George Orwell’s ‘1984.’ 

I picked it up this weekend and a conversation in chapter five has been playing around in my mind ever since. 

A character who works at the ‘Ministry of Truth,’ which aids Big Brother in controlling the minds of the population, is employed to carry out a strange task. His job is to simplify the language, which, in turn, will simplify people’s thinking. Over lunch, he explains his task to the main character: 

‘It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words… Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it… …Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller… The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect… The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact, there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking - not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.’ 

Today’s thought, based on this sinister passage, is a simple one: The limits of your language really are the limits of your world. Language is nothing more nor less than the encoding of ideas, so how strong is your current capacity to encode? Greater code equals greater capacity for thought. It’s like having a larger network of wires through which electricity can run; a greater number of roads for your potential traffic.

The more you increase your capacity to encode, the greater the quantity and agility of your ideas becomes. Need more ideas? Learn more words. Always be reading and you will always be growing.

Raising the power of your language - the efficacy of your expression - is equal to raising your capacity for influence. Speak well, write well, think well - dance with the building blocks of creation - and you can become the greatest in your game.