“Not all things are to be discovered. Many are better concealed.”
—Sophocles, 4th Century BC Greek Writer
Image from Unsplash by Mohamadreza Ashdari
Before you speak: T.H.I.N.K.
T: Is what you are about to say TRUE? H: Is what you plan to say HELPFUL? I: Will what you say IMPROVE the situation? N: Is saying it NECESSARY? K: Is it KIND?
How would your professional and personal relationships improve if you did more thinking before you spoke? Where would more silence and concealing your inner voice be the best approach to take with selected individuals? What other aspects of your life would be better off concealed?
“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?
“The only way some of us exercise our minds is by jumping to conclusions.”
—Cullen Hightower, 20th Century American writer
Image from Ellen’s Little Visits
With our never-ending race to get it all done today, we have all run into a problem. Despite our brain’s magnificent power to process vast amounts of information, we are beginning to hit a barrier to open and novel thinking.
We have learned a trick in which our established mental models create shortcuts to our processing power. We skip the often useful objective and reflective capacities needed in many situations.
Where have you recently jumped to an incorrect conclusion? Where and with whom might a slower, more thoughtful and open-minded approach prove most useful, in your professional or personal life?
“A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.”
-Arthur McBride Bloch, Author of Murphy’s Law Books
Image from MP3ringtone
Time pressure is one of many factors affecting our personal and professional worlds. Most people I coach are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress. They feel they are required to accomplish more in less time than ever before, just to keep up.
Critical thinking and decision-making are vital components of the world we live in. It often feels like we are all on a game show in which getting the right answer is only one part of how we win. The speed of our answer is also part of the equation.
The sheer number of decisions we need to make causes many of us to seek short cuts in our decision-making process, to avoid exhaustion and burnout.
How are you currently allocating your mental energies to your personal and professional priorities? How can you conserve or strengthen this energy to help you reach your most optimal and wisest conclusion?
“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom, but rather, leads you to the threshold of your mind.”
-Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese-American artist, poet, and writer
image from itu.edu
Take a moment to get into an imaginary time machine and go back to your youth.
Specifically, I’d like you to visit your grammar school, middle school, high school, college, and if you had them, post-graduate educational experiences.
As you explore each of these periods in your life, take note of the teachers who have made the most memorable and lasting impact on your life. How many of them challenged your thinking and encouraged greater personal inquiry, rather than simply pouring their reservoir of knowledge into you?
Who are the current teachers, mentors, and coaches that lead you to expand the threshold of your mind? How can you be such a resource for others in your personal and professional communities?