How to Talk to Yourself for Fun and Profit (DGtC#29)
How can you learn something?
It seems like teachers stand and teach. But the truth is more like teachers stand and talk. Teachers try to arrange words so students will grab an idea and monkey with it themselves. The learning is in the student, not the teacher. Same with preachers and CEOs: when they blather on endlessly, chances of some party line changing anyone’s mind diminish greatly.
Copywriters and artists and comedians and sculptors and storytellers know this. So they trim their words/images/jokes/granite/story to the bare essentials. Among those bare essentials must be something that resonates with your experience. Something among those bare essentials must ring true—otherwise you won’t listen and you’ll go back to playing Angry Birds. Those few bare essentials stand the best chance of actually engaging you to work with the idea and even try it yourself.
Successful communicators want you to talk to yourself. They want you to ask questions and to question assumptions and to wonder how your old behaviors fit your old assumptions. Working with an idea is part of processing an idea. The end result of processing an idea is a change in behavior.
But it comes back to talking to yourself. Even when talking with a friend or spouse or family member, you are also talking to yourself: testing words to see if they are true. Processing life stuff. You are even listening to and learning from what you say.
People who find a way to hold a conversation with themselves about what they see, think, hear and believe are some of the most interesting people you can run into. They are interesting because their self-talk and interior questioning boomerangs out to project a different way of looking at those things we thought were a done-deal. Their self-talk often resonates with the questions ambling about in our own minds.
Where is self-talk leading you? And with whom does your self-talk resonate?
Image credit: Kirk Livingston
See Also: Dummy’s Guide to Conversation