Please understand what you are about to read comes from the pen of a professional talker! That is what I do for a living…talk. So, this should be some interesting information as you listen to me talk to myself and counsel myself!
One of the biggest shocks of my whole life was when my father looked at me and said, “Son, you don’t have to say something about everything!” Well, that was news to me! That was long before I knew anything about personality styles. It was also before I knew anything about my own High “I” type personality and the fact that, of the four personality types, the High “I” is the one who thinks he or she must say something about everything! I wish I had known this Tip earlier in my life. It would have saved me a lot of heartache and trouble. It is such an important truth! Sometimes the best thing a person can do is simply keep their mouth shut.
The following quotes recently caught my attention because they are all directly related to the power of our words.
- “Do not use poisonous words against anyone, for words wound more fatally than even arrows.”-Sri Sathya Sai Baba
- “I have never developed indigestion from eating my words.”-Winston Churchill
- “Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.”-Napoleon Hill
- “Once a word leaves your mouth, you cannot chase it back even with the swiftest horse.”-Chinese Proverb
- “Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs.”-Pearl Strachan Hurd
- “Silence can never be misquoted!”-Calvin Coolidge – Thirtieth President of the United States
Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, also had some good insight regarding the power of our words. In Proverbs 10:19, we read, “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise”. I also like the way another translation phrases it: “Don’t talk too much, for it fosters problems. Be sensible and turn off the flow!” Turn off the flow! That is the nicest way I ever heard someone say ’Shut up!’ in my whole life!
Talking will also keep you from accomplishing your work and will keep you broke. “In all hard work there is profit, but merely talking about it only brings poverty” Proverbs 14:23.
So, there you have it in a nutshell. It is just wise to learn to keep your mouth shut. Anyone who reads this Tip is going to say, “I totally agree”. However, that is not where the real rubber meets the road. The real challenge will come the next time you think you just have to say something, just this one time, about this special, unique, particular situation. That is when it will be difficult to simply shut your mouth, be quiet, and let the situation unfold without you having to control or manipulate the circumstances.
Just one more thought on this subject…and I saved the best for last because I know that the last thing a person reads about a topic is usually what is remembered. Solomon also said, “Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace. When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive” (Proverbs 17:28). That pretty much sums up what I have been learning in life!
Not only do I want to appear perceptive, I actually want to BE perceptive. I have learned that I have two ears and one mouth for a purpose. I am practicing the art of learning to listen twice as much as I talk. Believe me, it is not easy! However, I have found great reward, peace, and amazement, when I have taken this advice to heart, shut my own mouth and watched to see how things work out.
This is one Tip you can hardly afford not to use. Put it into practice today…and tomorrow…and every day of your life. You will be the winner for it! And finally, in the words of that great scholar and philosopher, Forrest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that!”
Tip: Don’t Talk!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm