“Work hard in silence. Let success be your noise.”
—Frank Ocean, American singer/songwriter
Image from Unsplash by Glenn Carstens-Peters
I hope you love your life. I hope all your personal and professional efforts are rewarding in themselves, and that there is no need to brag or boast to call attention to your successes. After all, tooting your own horn can often backfire in our world of considerable judgement.
Ask yourself the following questions regarding your current work efforts:
- How much impact, influence, and say do I have in my work?
- How much am I learning, growing, and bettering myself through my work?
- What difference, contribution, and purpose does my work provide to others in my various communities?
Take one minute tonight after you brush your teeth to look in a mirror and reflect on all your silent successes. You may notice how others in your world often toot your horn for you.
“Speak your truth even if your voice shakes.”
Image from Unsplash by Ricardo Mancia
“Cowards die many times before their deaths,” said the lead character in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, using the metaphor of death to describe how a person feels when they avoid or run away from a challenge.
In such circumstances, we all die a little when we shrink back from the core values and personal truths that are the basis of our personal power and character.
Where and on what personal or professional matters have you been silent? When has fear of failure or being judged by others stopped you from stepping up and voicing your truth?
What has this silence cost you? What would be possible if you spoke up even with a bit of shaking?
“Before you speak, ask if what you’re about to say is kind, necessary, true, and better than silence.”
—Barbara Ann Kipfer, Author of Self Meditation
Image from DLKT Kids
Filters can be very helpful things.
Consider water filters over the centuries. They have improved the sanitation of our towns and cities. They have helped us all live longer, healthier lives by removing all types of bacteria and other substances.
These days, our airways are filled with toxins through various forms of communications and include our daily conversations. It’s actually a form of communication pollution, which can also make us sick.
What would be the benefit in your personal or professional worlds if, beyond silence, we all filtered out all the unkind and unnecessary statements before they left our lips?
What would be possible if all people took this coaching?
“Fools live to regret their words, wise men to regret their silence.”
—Will Henry, 20th Century American Screenwriter
Image from Unsplash by Jason Rosewell
Through the process of coaching, most people become far more aware and mindful of their thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Too often, we see foolish individuals blurting out whatever comes to mind to make their point, exert power, diminish others, or just be “right” on whatever the subject.
Wise and perhaps more thoughtful individuals sometimes remain silent on matters of importance with the all-too-frequent statement, “I should have said something,” when their inner voices urged them to do so.
Where, when and on what subjects is speaking up or remaining silent the right and wise thing to do?
“A smart person knows what to say. A wise person knows whether or not to say it.”
When can less be more? How often do you find yourself giving others advice or sharing your wealth of knowledge and experience, only to find that it is unwanted?
Were you ever that kid in school who raised their hand saying “call on me!” so you could share the right answer and show how smart you were? If so, what reaction did you receive from the other students? If not, how did you feel about your classmates who did?
I have found it very useful, in recent years, to restrain my exuberance to share what I know in order to more fully allow others to share and contribute their thoughts and ideas. Not surprisingly, I learn far more when my mouth is shut and my ears are open!
Where can less from you and more from others be a wiser recipe for your future success?
“Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.”
-Gladys Bronwyn Stern, 20th Century British Novelist
Image from Flickr by kluge
If a tree falls in the woods and there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound?
In much the same way, silent gratitude or appreciation without some form of overt acknowledgement seems to miss the mark of making any tangible impact.
In many respects, words of acknowledgement, praise, and gratitude are forms of love. They support the growth and development of enhanced relationships in many aspects of our lives.
Where and with whom will you put your silent gratitude on a loud external speaker as a foundation for improved relationships and results in your world?
“Silence is one of the great arts of conversation.”
-Hanna More, 19th Century British Philanthropist
Image from Flickr by Shawn Harquail
Many people think of silence as simply the lack of saying something. It is a void, an empty space where nothing is happening.
Today’s quote asks us to instead consider silence as a seed, invisibly planted in the ground. Active listening and sincere interest are resources that help conversation and ideas grow and eventually blossom.
How can you use the art of silence to enhance and grow your most important personal and professional relationships?
“The answers you seek never come when the mind is busy. They come when the mind is still, when silence speaks loudest.”
Image from huffingtonpost.com
Most of us are familiar with the phrase “Silence is Golden.” Perhaps it is the value expressed in today’s quote that makes it so. It is virtually impossible to explore new ideas and inquire into new levels of thinking when our minds are going a million miles per hour.
Try blocking out five to ten minutes today for quiet reflection and personal inquiry. Consider choosing a topic or question worth pondering closely, and see what you discover.
Also consider making this a daily habit and explore the added value of capturing any insight you will likely have in a journal or notebook.