We talk too much. Everybody wants to talk about everything all the time. That’s a lot of talking. I may be wrong, but I get the feeling it’s too much.
I had a weekend with a lot of private, quiet time this weekend. I realized that when it’s quiet and people aren’t talking it’s like giving your mind some much needed space.
- When was the last time you gave yourself some quiet?
- What is the longest time you have spent without somebody talking in the last year? (not counting sleep)
- When was the last time you had an hour where nobody talked?
- When was the last time you didn’t have the television, radio, music device or other electronic device on?
- How often do you get to do something where there is no talking?
If answered honestly, some people will find that their lives are filled with almost constant talking. Some people are lost when the talking stops. Either boredom or insecurity creeps in, and people can’t take it. The talking and noise becomes a stimulant and/or anesthesia.
We think that talking solves things. We think that talking helps. We think talking will make us feel better. Each of those is probably right. There are times when talking does these things. However, it seems like the talking never stops.
Here’s an idea.
Listening solves things. Listening helps. Listening makes us feel better.
Quiet solves things. Quiet helps. Quiet makes things feel better.
It just seems things are out out balance.
Sometimes talking doesn’t help … or even makes things worse.
Just look at politics. People talk and talk about it and there never seems to be a solution. Government just gets bigger and more powerful while individuals get poorer and less free. Yet, people just keep talking and talking. Maybe people should do more listening, reading and researching. You may just find out that things are a whole lot different than all of the talk.
It’s easy to talk.
It’s harder to listen and learn. I think people often talk to rationalize and convince themselves of things. As they talk they think they know what they are talking about. It sounds pretty good. Next thing you know they have elaborately rationalized a decision that keeps them from really making progress in their life.
Sometimes we talk to stall or avoid taking action.
Talking never helped anyone lose a pound. Talking doesn’t pay off your debts. Talking doesn’t finish the book. Talking doesn’t win the game.
People love to talk for the purpose of being contentious
(usually just for the sake of doing it).
This is something I have learned well the last six months or so. Yeah, somebody reading this will think they are clever and say “Yeah, well, you are doing plenty of talking right now. And what about all these blog posts? You sure have a lot to say.”
In a way I suppose they would be right. There is one thing to consider, though. I think about something before it becomes a blog post. There is a time when there is no talking, and I am just thinking. It could be in the car driving or first thing in the morning while I am having my coffee. It’s not until I think I have something worth sharing that it becomes a post or an article.
Better Late Than Never.
If there is one I know, it’s that I don’t have all the answers. But maybe I would have more answers or made better decisions if I truly learned as a young man this lesson I am realizing in my mid 30s.
Food for Thought.
Take a look around. Listen. There is a lot of talking going on; the water cooler, meetings, idle chatter, television, internet, radio, billboards, signs…even the devices that give us driving directions talk to us.
At what point do our minds reach the saturation point? When do we reach sensory over load? We only have so much energy and head space. Sure, our minds can take on a lot. But how much more effective could we be if we cleared away some of the noise? How much more focused could we be if we reserved some of our mental energy? How much more peace of mind would we find if we just had some time without talking?
I guess we’ll never know until we try.