One of my favorite things in the world is talking. I’ve always been like that.
I remember one time when I was 14, I and a friend watched Fight Club twice in a row because our minds were blown away. We talked about that movie for hours. We started somewhere in the evening and didn’t finish until 5 AM.
It was awesome. And I’ve had many other all-night-long talks with friends, girlfriends, family, about almost everything (except for the news, politics, and religion—those subjects I always avoid)
Talking really stimulates my mind. And the deep conversation is like sex for the brain.
But here’s the thing: Too much talking is a bad habit for two reasons.
1. Talking Keeps Your Ears Closed
My obsession with talking turned me into a person who always wanted to say something.
When I was with friends, or during meetings, or even at the dentist — I always had something to say. But when you talk too much, you don’t listen. You only listen to your own voice.
And it’s dangerous to become in love with your own voice because you can learn more from others than from yourself. So instead of talking — why not ask questions? And listen.
Lou Holtz, College Football Hall of Fame coach, put it best:
“I never learn anything talking. I only learn things when I ask questions.”
Too much talk is also a sign of immatureness and a lack of emotional intelligence. Why do you always want to speak? It’s often when you feel insecure and wants to show other people how smart or capable you are.
But the opposite is true in the eye of others. If you try too hard, it will come across as fake.
Years ago, one of my mentors made me aware of how much I talked. He said:
“Talk less. Ask more. And listen more.”
I still like to talk. But what I like more nowadays is to ask questions — and after I ask, I listen.
Only by listening you can get to know people and build relationships. And that’s what will eventually bring you further in life—and it will also make you happier.
2.Talking Keeps You From Doing
Walt Disney once said:
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
Just in the past month, people I’ve met told me these things:
- I want to build an app
- I want to get a publishing deal
- I want to make a movie
- I want to help other people
- I want to buy a Ferrari
- I want to run a marathon
- I want to start a blog
Ambition is great. And so are goals. I love to meet people who are working on their goals.
But you know what’s better than talking about things? Doing them. So fucking do it!
When you’re in bed, what do you think about it? Do you think about crossing the finish line of the NYC marathon? Or, do you think about tomorrow’s training session?
You can apply that analogy to everything that is going on in your life. Do you think about buying the car? Or do you think about what you’re going to do tomorrow to earn the money you need to buy that car?
It’s the difference between focusing on the reward vs the process.
Talking about doing things is almost as real as doing them, right? When you think about doing things and tell other people about it, your brain starts to believe it.
It becomes real in your mind. But you and I both know that it’s not real at all. So don’t fool yourself.
Want success? Talk less. Do more.
One more thing: People who do stuff don’t even have the time to talk about it.
So next time you catch some idiot boasting about his big goals (online or offline), don’t feel bad about yourself, just laugh it off and understand they’re full of shit.
You know better. So let’s get back to work.