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.