The Art of Meaningful Conversation

by Kelvin Belfon


“Clutter isn’t just the stuff in your closet. It’s anything that gets between you and the life that you want to be living.” – Peter Walsh


Mastering the art of meaningful conversations is a key to advancing your life goals.

Two weeks ago, I was offered an amazing opportunity. I shared the good news with my wife Camilla and a few close friends. Then I called my mother and did the same. She was excited and happy for me.

Five minutes into our conversation, I began to doubt. I started to explain to mom why the opportunity wouldn’t work. She listened then interjected in a stern motherly tone. She encouraged me to stop the negative thinking and, “clean up your vocabulary!”

I was offended at first but she was right…again!

It was also confirmation of a certain aspect of minimalism that I have been subconsciously brewing.

In my opinion, it’s a mistake to limit minimalism to just the physical.

Clutter comes in various forms. And oftentimes, if we don’t get mental clutter in check, everything else we try to accomplish in our physical space becomes burdensome and unsuccessful. In my case, it was through a conversation with my mother that I was reminded of excessive verbal clutter resident in my own speech.

Words are powerful. They can create doubt and fear or inspiration and greatness. We might even say that words shape reality. Yet, all too often the conversations we have with ourselves are that part of life we consider last on the list of things needing tidying up.

What we say to ourselves, I believe, is the most important conversation we’ll have.

Negative self-talk only leads to us spinning our wheels rather than soaring ahead in life. We limit our potential. We invoke hopelessness into an otherwise promising future. We also reduce the probability of accomplishing challenging goals when we engage in pessimistic self talk.

There is an art to meaningful conversation and the key lies in the dialog that goes on inside of us.

The conversations we have with others can either be meaningful or superficial. They can engage our challenges and provide new and stimulating directions for the future.  Or they can reinforce negative self talk that stunts growth. They can even digress into empty gossip or a judgmental spirit. This is superficial and a waste of time.

Less is more and this also applies to conversations we have with others.

Let your conversations count. Let them be meaningful.  Be truthful. Say what you mean. By doing so, you’ll reflect a more accurate picture of who you are; and, as such, relationships are less complicated. We avoid potential toxic conversations with this focus.

If we are to make progress in our minimalist journey, we must master meaningful conversations.

These few suggestion I’ve since found useful in keeping my conversations meaningful. Use brevity and get to the point. It’s okay to keep your conversations short. Avoid empty redundant dialogue and exclamations that only amount to over-exaggerating your reality.

 Respect the value of other people’s time. Listen and ask questions. Be positive, helpful and build others up, even when correcting others. Finally, let love be your motivation for sharing your thoughts with others.

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12 thoughts on “The Art of Meaningful Conversation

  1. Calla says:

    This is a very inspiring post. Like you stated dealing with love & truth in all situations is the best way, but for me it often proves to be the hardest. Thanks for the inspiring post!

  2. Strong wise article. I was reminded that our conversations on social media also benefit from this minimalist verbiage mentality as well. Less is more. Use brevity. Be positive. Let love be my motivation for sharing my thoughts. Thank you! A much needed reminder! I will share this with others.

    • Kelvin Belfon says:

      Hi Berta!

      Yes, our conversation on social media can also benefit, especially our comments on Facebook 🙂
      Thank you for commenting and sharing. Much appreciated!

  3. Sharon says:

    “There is an art to meaningful conversation and the key lies in the dialog that goes on inside of us.” So true! I’m taking an art journaling course this year and the instructor said something that has been ringing in my head all year, “You don’t have to believe everything you think.” I have a tendency to do that. It can be so helpful to have someone (like your Mom) who can point out when it is not helpful.

    • Kelvin Belfon says:

      Hi Sharon:
      “You don’t have to believe everything you think,” wise words from your art teacher. I think we all then to be hard on ourselves. What helps is to surround ourselves with family and friends who can help us when we are moving in the wrong direction.

  4. Gillian Claudia Johnson-Baptiste says:

    Kelvin as usual, you have forced me into introspection, thank you! What a fresh, new and life changing perspective.

  5. Christy King says:

    Excellent points. I’ve also found it’s so much easier to make new friends if you keep small talk to a minimum and discuss things that matter.

    • Kelvin Belfon says:

      You are so right!
      Also, our relationships become deeper and more meaningful when we avoid small talk.

  6. Liz Smith says:

    So much wisdom in this post Kelvin and a wonderful reminder to choose words that matter, as we move towards simplicity in every way 🙂

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