Talk less

I’ve noticed a fair few patterns when it comes to successful people.

And most of them are not what you would expect – in-fact more often than not they are the total opposite.

Let me give you an example.

I always used to think that you had to be an extrovert to be really successful in life; the kind of person who’s loud, gregarious, constantly talking and busy telling everyone what they’ve been doing and why they’re so great.

What I’ve learned is that this isn’t the case at all.

In-fact the people who succeed in life often tend to be the quiet ones.


Because when your mind is quiet you can focus.

I believe that talking too much is overrated. Ask Susan Cain and she will agree with me. Susan wrote the book ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking’. It’s a fascinating account that details the many benefits of having an introverted personality.

Here are just a few:
* Introverts are natural creative thinkers because quiet time is essential to stimulate creative ideation (contrary to popular belief – traditional brainstorms don’t actually always produce the best creative results)
* Introverts are naturally very considered and think before they speak ensuring that what they do say is of real value
* Introverts spend less time talking and more time doing – which is why they often achieve a lot!

You can read my interview with Susan last year to learn more about the power of introverts.

Talk Less Do More

I think for me, the most important reason why we need to talk less is so that we can clear our minds enough to focus on what really matters. If we’re busy talking, talking, talking – then how much doing are we doing? The saying ‘Walk the Talk’ springs to mind.

You see I’ve met a lot of talkers in my time, and I’ve noticed that the people who talk a lot about what they are going to do – actually very rarely get around to actually ‘doing it’ – probably because they are too busy talking!

Don’t get me wrong – there are many benefits of being able to articulate what you are doing and networking is a really important skill to use too – there does come a time though where we need to just quit talking and take some action.

The other thing I’ve noticed is that people who have to tell you how great they are – usually don’t really believe it on the inside. The ones who genuinely believe in themselves have no need to express such things. They are the ones who are busy getting on with what they want to achieve in life – instead of trying to gain approval from others.

So – perhaps its time for an audit on your own verbal content. Is what you’re talking about really worth the time and energy? Or is it time to opt for a slice of silence and commit to making some things happen.

If you’re still on the fence – here are a few quotes from iconic people who have discovered the power of keeping quiet:

“Spend some time alone every day.” Dalai Lama

“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence” Leonardo Da Vinci

“Silence is a true friend who never betrays” Confucious

“Silence is a source of great strength” Lao Tzu

“In human intercourse, the tragedy begins, not when there is misunderstanding about words, but when silence is not understood.” Henry David Thoreou

“Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.” Francis Bacon

Did you know Mahatma Gandhi used to take a vow of silence every Monday?

Simple Life Strategy: How to talk less and do more

1. Consider how much time you spend talking and how much time you spend actually committing to what you talk about

2. If you feel that there’s an imbalance – make a decision to try and talk less and do more

3. Next time you start talking about something you’re going to do – stop and actually put a step into action

4. Plan some time each week for silence – this could be time to get creative and come up with new ideas, or simply time to focus on what’s important to you

5. Instead of letting your mouth control you – start to become really conscious of what you’re talking about

6. Consider what you’re about to say before you say it – if it’s not worthy then you still have time to keep quiet!

7. Enjoy all of the extra time you have available to you now that you have exchanged unnecessary chitchat for invaluable action!

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