29 Mar Walk the Talk, Talk the walk
Walking the talk and talking the thought
At first, glance to “walk the talk, talk the walk” sounds like an obvious simple concept that we should all live by. Truth is said, it is probably one of the hardest things to do in life, possibly unachievable, a utopic dream some might say.
To be consistent between what we think, express and do requires full attention from our part at all times, the willingness to acknowledge when we are deviating and the humbleness to implement corrections even when uncomfortable. Aka, requires self-awareness, stepping down from our ego and work.
“Happiness is when what you think, is what you say and what you do are in harmony” Mahatma Gandhi
Let’s start by recognizing that, “We” talk a lot! By “we”, I am referring to “human beings” acting within a social context. If you are a hermit and live alone at the top of a mountain, this probably does not apply to you. Stop reading.
Ok, back to subject. We tend to give advice to anyone who asks and those who don’t as well. 80% of the time when an event develops in somebody else’s life, we have a reasonable or miracle solution that will solve their problem. The other 20% of the time we tell them something along the lines of “If you have tried 3 times to solve your problem this way and it hasn’t worked, why would it work this time? Obviously, it is the wrong approach. You need to think outside the box, go radical, out of your comfort zone”
Another extremely common commentary that we the “know it all annoying people” use sounds like “every time this happens I do the following…”, for example, “I hate people that while driving use the horn, I never ever do it if it is not in a life or death situation!!!”, really? Next, you know, you find yourself stacked on the I-95 highway horn-tossing like crazy because the traffic is not moving. Clearly not a life threating situation and of course you don’t remember what you told your friend the day before or even worse, you justify yourself by saying “this is an exception, I’m so annoyed, this is not like me, I never behave this way” Breaking news! You are actually horning the hell out of your car, aka; you DO, DO IT.
Going back to the big question, do we actually say what we think and act accordingly? Most of us, if we are lucky, can balance the 3 dimensions a few times a day. Sounds sad? Actually, it is not, it makes total sense once you start looking into some of the motives that lead us to “betray our thoughts” which are the beginning of it all.
Check 5 of the most usual causes of disharmony between mind – language – body:
- Knowing that our current thoughts are driven by strong feelings and might be hurtful to express or act upon them. Example; don’t say things in a fight that you cannot take back. Your thoughts are not actually always right. Same way, you wouldn’t punch someone because in a heated moment you think about it.
- When trying to make someone else happy, even when it involves not being faithful to yourself. For example, your friend is going through a divorce, although you might want to stay home and watch a movie, for her sake, you will accompany her to a bar, and take it further and you will be potentially twisting a little bit your opinion of her ex to fit her current image of him, just to try to lift her up.
- Fear of conflict or repercussions, sometimes we just don’t want to deal with the fallout of our sayings and actions, hence we just stay put. This is very common in the work environment. A few days ago, I was at a meeting, getting annoyed by the route the conversation was taking and I didn’t stop the conversation I might have even said “yes, guys, you are correct”, but I caught myself making a “yukky” face. It is very hard not to betray that your mind, language, and body are not in agreement. Truth wants to zip out of us one way or another.
- Embarrassment, Shame or Guilt, when it is expected that those feelings will arise. It is human preservation instinct to try avoid them, and if that implies not saying or doing our little cave-man inside of us is perfectly happy with that. That is until we get home and regret not expressing ourselves and thinking it would have been worth it anyway just to “get it out of our chest”
- Ego & Pride, The opposite from above are huge players and advocates of this disconnection within ourselves. No one wants to neither “look/sound stupid” or the opposite “be quiet” in a situation we want to shine or it is expected we excel. Even if it goes against our beliefs. Example, being an athlete that advocates fair play but doping before the Olympics.
Closing, is it always wrong to be inconsistent or even possible to be perfectly streamlined? I don’t know the answer to that one. I firmly believe in being aware when we are not. Why is it useful to be aware? Well, it can come and bit us in the tail if someone points it out. Second, it might be happening in an aspect of our life where we would really need have harmony to be happy. Third, it helps our self-development to understand in which dimensions we are not being loyal to ourselves and can decide what to do with it.
Let me know your thoughts on this! Say what you are thinking!