It seems like a good idea, right?
“Two things to remember in life. Take care of your thoughts when you are alone, and take care of your words when you are with people.”
This saying has been passed around the internet and made into many “inspirational” memes…The only attribution I can find is to Melchor Lim.
I’m sure Mr. Lim didn’t mean it this way at all, but there is an inherent problem with this strategy that MOST PEOPLE are currently experiencing.
The problem is with the second admonition, to take care of your words when you are with people.
Sure, makes sense, right? When I’m with people, I’m going to be careful what I say, make sure I don’t say anything hurtful, disrespectful, or thoughtless. What could be wrong with that?
Well, in theory, it sounds great. But the problem is, if you are needing to make adjustments between what is in your mind and what comes out of your mouth, you’ve essentially already lost the battle. If you need to take care of your words, it means that your thoughts are not already kind, caring, compassionate, and present. And that means that your internal energy state is already not in that place.
Anyone that is really paying attention (also verifiable via scientific study) knows that most of our communication is non-verbal…Our true attitude towards any moment or any person comes across whether we want it to or not.
Most of my clients tie themselves up in knots trying to make sure they “say the right thing”, “don’t hurt their feelings” or “don’t want to sound like…” or “get them to understand”. Again, all of those intentions are a losing battle. They take all of the realness, authenticity and connection out of any moment. Operating in this way can ruin your relationships and your confidence in yourself. It also destroys your connection to your own truth.
When you take care of your thoughts (this is a topic in and of itself) your thoughts are loving towards yourself and others, there is nothing to fear or hide…Feel free to open your mouth and share your thoughts. Easy. Real. Authentic. Connecting.
So, I would suggest an adjustment to the original quote:
“One thing to remember in life. Take care of your thoughts (and feel free to open your mouth.)”
[By the way, taking care of your thoughts, in effect, is also taking care of yourself. So, the whole quote could be changed to “take care of yourself”. If you are in your heart-of-hearts a loving person, as at least 99.9999% of all people are, taking care of yourself also means being loving towards others. There is no fear of being selfish or hurtful when you are your holistically healthiest self.]