For this lesson, I want to distinguish between two types of talking…
There’s the talking that happens via our mouth and there’s the talking that happens via our actions. The things we do. We could call one a verbal conversation and the other, a physical conversation. In terms of the kind of results we’re likely to produce in our world, one matters a little and one matters a lot.
I’ll let you figure out which is which.
Interestingly, most of us tend to pay more attention to the verbal kind of communication, despite the fact that we understand (and have experienced) that, in more cases than not, people’s actions – their behavioural talk – doesn’t always align (doesn’t often align?) with the stuff that’s coming out of their cake hole.
“If you really want to know someone, ignore most of what they say and pay attention to all of what they do.”
The Shit Detector
At the risk of sounded jaded or cynical (which I’m not… honest!), these days I take certain conversations with a grain of salt. Having endured years of pseudo-conversations (conversations where people are mostly concerned with telling a story, justifying a behaviour or creating some kind of a positive impression), I am the now the proud owner of a highly-tuned shit detector. From the moment some people open their mouths, it’s apparent that poo is about to flow.
And flow it does.
Lying. Blaming. Exaggerating. Procrastinating. Deflecting. Avoiding. Empty promises. Self pity. Self importance. Attention seeking. Approval seeking…. All such a waste of time, potential and energy; mine and theirs.
Now, consider the New Year’s Resolution. How timely. What an interesting and pointless ritual.
Q. How many people talk (verbally) about the things they are going to achieve, create and change in the year ahead?
A. The majority.
Q. How many actually turn those verbal intentions into practical, measurable, sustained real-world change?
A. A Very small minority.
After all, talk is just talk.
If you’re someone who has been circling success for years (whatever success means to you) and, like many others, talking, intending, planning and goal-setting your way to nowhere-in-particular (be honest), then maybe 2013 is your year to shut down the jibber jabber? Maybe it’s time to show and not tell?
Maybe it’s time for more walk and less talk?