Silence Q4

Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues: Week 2, Q4

Silence: “Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

Personal notes:

  • If you have nothing nice to say…
  • We could all use a little more quiet in our lives and we can all practice being a bit more quiet.

Silence is against my nature. I like to talk, interject, state my viewpoint, and shoot from the hip. Needless to say, it gets me into trouble. That’s why I’m amazed by people who can sit silently during a board meeting, a story, or an altercation. They always manage to avoid that foolish, foot-in-mouth, guilt-ridden incident, while remaining gracious and empathetic. It’s inspiring.

Before this year I would routinely get into trouble for firing from the hip: wife, parents, kids, friends. To be honest, I never really thought about being Silent. Most of the world doesn’t: “this is my viewpoint, and dammit, you’re going to listen.” The funny thing is, as I practiced being more quiet externally, my world became more quiet internally. It took time, but it happened.

Silence is golden. It really is. Shutting that internal, nagging voice is worth its weight in gold. Think about how much time and energy you’ve wasted: Why did I say that? Did I sound stupid? I wish I hadn’t said it? I’ve certainly spent my share of hours and days exhausted and taxed by a ceaseless, internal self-critique. A lot of that goes away with speak not but what may benefit others or yourself.

This year has really given me a chance to see where the holes were. One hole was not giving more to the important relationships in my life: listening to my wife, listening to my friends, listening to my kids. A depth grows as deeper roots take hold. Silence is key to that growth. Without really listening to or understanding those closest to you, roots remain shallow and upend in the passing storm. Save yourself a million hassles and a million sorries, let the angst wash away. Practice Silence and watch your happiness grow.


Next Week

Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues: Week 3, Q4

Order: “Let all your things have their place; let each part of your business have its time.

Personal notes for the week:

  • Short week with a lot to do;
  • Enjoy Thanksgiving.

With the short week ahead, use Order to ensure everything gets tucked. Don’t roll into the holiday with work angst or a to-do list. Enjoy Thanksgiving and remember to be grateful for the loved ones around you.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone