Johnny Ray Cabuyao, Laguna, Philippines
/My Second Lesson from Chapter 8/
It is characteristic of people who have but a smattering or a veneer of knowledge to try to give the impression that they have much knowledge. Such people generally do TOO MUCH talking, and TOO LITTLE listening. Keep your eyes and ears wide open—and your mouth CLOSED, if you wish to acquire the habit of prompt DECISION. Those who talk too much do little else. If you talk more than you listen, you not only deprive yourself of many opportunities to accumulate useful knowledge, but you also disclose your PLANS and PURPOSES to people who will take great delight in defeating you, because they envy you.
Let one of your first decisions be to KEEP A CLOSED MOUTH AND OPEN EARS AND EYES. As a reminder to yourself to follow this advice, it will be helpful if you copy the following epigram in large letters and place it where you will see it daily.
“TELL THE WORLD WHAT YOU INTEND TO DO, BUT FIRST SHOW IT.”
I think every time I have seen this chapter and see these words, I think of a Proverb which states: Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues. (Proverbs 17:28 - NIV) There is complete value in shutting up and learning. Being a ‘blue’ - it has been tough to not talk for the sake of talking. It’s been my habit to not speak everything I know, in fact to speak at all, due to those close to me causing me physical harm from time to time when I would speak freely, an unfortunate experience. That type of thing causes trust issues with others and it is one of those things a person, when they experience that, to have to unlearn and relearn how to trust good people. I see on social media where people say that trust is not given until earned. That’s a very poor statement. The opposite holds more merit, give trust, until they no longer deserve it. Otherwise, you won’t have good people in your life. A mastermind has trust at its core. You trust the people around you. A mastermind is a good decision. A good mastermind has a lot of listening going on while one wise person speaks. There are a lot of open ears, brilliant advice, and a lot of growth happens because of it. This is one such mastermind where wisdom is shared and growth happens. Why? Because of listening. And to be clear, listening and hearing are not the same thing. As I am typing, there are birds outside (no roosters crowing, by the way) and a fan nearby blowing, but I am not intently listening to these things and the other miniscule noises that are happening. However, when I listen, I give focus, I give my attention. My energy is directed to the speaker and they have my focus and my mind is glued to them, like the ‘sitting on the edge of my seat’ at the climax of some movie. We’ve all seen the kids, slowly eating popcorn and eyes wide open, excited and anticipating what is going to happen next, intense listening and equally intense observation, locked in dedicated concentration to what they are watching: that is how I strive to listen to others. Can I repeat what is shared with me after a conversation, like I could an exciting movie I just watched? If no, then I wasn’t listening properly. If yes, then I did a good job.
The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice. (Proverbs 12:15 - NIV)
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry… (James 1:19 - NIV)
Johnny Ray - Cabuyao, Philippines
“Tell the world what you intend to do, but first show it. You can do it! It has been done before!”