Have you ever had to listen to a whole speech from someone after you've told them about your latest breakup? An existential crisis? Or how you hate your job? When maybe you just want to hear the words "It's going to be okay." instead of a speech. I'm one in many of those people who recite a line or three from a self-help book when friends tell me that their life sucks, I can't help it sometimes. But what if we say what we mean in simple words; instead of giving a motivational speech, to make a point?
Let's make it simple for all of us.
John is struggling with his career and relationships, and he comes to you to vent. You say that it's going to be okay and give him a step by step guide to fix his problems, along with extra notes of motivation here and there. A month later, he comes back to you with the same troubles and when you asked him if he's been trying to fix his issues, he hesitantly says "No."
It gets frustrating when John just doesn't want to listen, no matter how many times we tell him what he can do to live a better life, he just doesn't want to take it. So, perhaps the whole speech of How to Live a Better Life 101 isn't the way to go.
You're Saying too MuchHave we sat and thought that maybe the reasons why John wasn't listening is because we're giving him a little too much? It overwhelmed him to the point that what we were saying just went in one ear and out the other, which results to our own wasted breath.
You don't always have to say so much when what you really mean is something so simple.
There were times when I couldn't help myself from saying a little too much in a situation. The sad part was that my point got lost in the middle of my whole speech, that every word began to overshadow the purpose. Once we're on a roll, we can't stop. We just want to keep going until we've said our piece, I get it.
We don't want our words to get lost in translation so try this next point:
Let the Words Work Its MagicNext time you get asked for an opinion, say what you mean in a sentence or two, then be silent and hold your tongue, and let your own inspiring words sink in to make a point. Feel the weight of energy your words carry, and let it do its magic.
Sometimes that solution to a complex problem is simplicity.
Your words could go from "Take a chance." to "Do what feels right." It all depends on the situation and the person, so be creative and thoughtful with them. And the fun part is that when you sit back and relax the answers come.
We care for John, and we want him to be happy, but remember, at the end of the day it doesn't fall in our hands but in his. All we can do is say a few words, let it do its magic, and give time for his mind come to terms with what he must really do.
Good luck to all the John's out there!