It's amazing how powerful simplicity can be. When I was active in martial arts I found that even the black belts all still use (and drill with) the simplest basics that the newest white belts are taught. It's always about doing the basics and we keep building in mastery. Here's one of the most powerful tools we have: speech. The way we use the gift of speech in our daily lives will make a huge difference in success in all areas of our lives. Here are my tips for making talk more positive and life enhancing.
Use positive words when ever you can. "Not good" instead of "bad" puts the focus on "good". Our minds and spirits hear the words and take in what we hear and say. We don't always hear things the way they're meant. If we're using positive words it reminds us where to focus. You'll never hear a negative word from a dog.
Sarcasm comes from the Greek words that mean "to tear flesh". Yikes! We'd never hurt someone like that but with so much humor based on sarcasm, we can forget how much a sarcastic remark can sting and hurt. Dogs are always sincere.
Gossip hurts three people, the speaker, the listener, and the person being talked about. If this one is hard here’s some food for thought: What you say about someone else really reveals more about the kind of person you are! If you listen to gossip about someone, you gotta wonder how that person talks about you. Getting out of listening to gossip can feel kind of sensitive since you don’t want to come off “holier than thou” but it’s well worth the effort. Here are a few “tips within tips” to get out of listening to gossip:
~change the subject, redirect the conversation
~be direct and honest and respectfully tell the other person that you also won't listen if someone wants to talk to you about him or her
~say there's something wrong with the phone connection and that you'll call them back (now you have time to think about how to redirect the conversation)
know that your reputation as trustworthy will rise
once people know that you're not into gossip, they'll stop coming to you with it
Dogs never, ever gossip about anything, ever.
Same rules apply about yourself.
Remember the old “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”? It’s still true and it’s also true about your own precious (as in valuable gem!) self. Dogs never put themselves down.
A kind word goes a long way.
Everyone needs to feel validated. What ever you like to hear is probably what other people like to hear too. A sincere compliment can go a long way. Gratitude is always good to express. Words of encouragement are always well received. Okay, well, dogs can't do this, but they wish they could!
Some cultures teach that you have a certain number of words you can use in your life time and that's it. It's meant to teach that we need to choose our words with care and purpose.
Experiment with this one and see what happens.
Photo credit: Avital (c) 2006