Choose your moment to speak, and choose it wisely

13 Jun

Learning a martial art has taught me a lot about picking your moment. Too fast or rash, and you leave yourself open. Too slow or deliberate and you do the same. You have to pick just the right moment to act, otherwise you’re left behind with a new set of circumstances to assess and deal with.

In conversation and debate, whether it’s between friends, family or complete strangers, it’s not unusual to notice people who slip into one of the two problems above.

There’s the brash one; slamming their opinion down your throat without regard for your side while managing to remain completely oblivious to the fact that it’s a discussion in the first place. To them a conversation isn’t an open, reasoned and friendly discussion but a chance to assault you with their own particular brand of special. Sure; they might seem intelligent about it, and they might even manage to stay calm while pasive-aggressively ‘informing’ you that you’re wrong and going to hell for it, but their demeanor can’t be completely hidden, and you know it. You know that feeling; that feeling of “Hold on now, just hang on a second…is this really happening?”

Then there’s the others; the ones who listen to all without agreeing to any. They can be swayed by one side or the other and still manage to seemingly stay neutral in the end, because they’re too slow and deliberate to confidently explain their perspective on the discussion. In an attempt to be reasonable, they end up being too reasonable and get left behind in the conversational flurry. While this may seem an enlightened way to do things, the truth is it usually ends up leaving the debate horribly one sided.

Best thing to do? Pick your moment, and pick it well.

I don’t know if I can explain it properly, but have you ever heard someone speak who just has that perfect balance? What they’re saying is rousing, yet clinical. Passionate without being aggressive. motivational, but in both senses of the word; inspirational and confrontational at the same time, never giving too much leverage to one or the other.

Pick your moment, and pick it well. I’m not saying you should be a superman about it straight away though; we only learn how to do it properly by jumping from both perspectives I’ve listed above. Practice practice practice.

This is an incredible example. He didn’t speak for years, yet had a nation and the world enthralled by his talent. Then, when he saw his moment, he picked it incisevely and executed it masterfully.

(I love the look on his face at the very end, just love it. It looks like he’s thinking, after actually hearing those words and sentiments out loud, “My god…it’s possible, it actually is possible“)

For fear of both denying myself the opportunity of making the ‘freshly pressed’ list by virtue of a well judged swear word, and exposing my soft side by a not so well judged gushing, I have to say:

Don’t worry if tear up a little with that one. The inclusion of Hans Zimmers’ music (from inception) is a masterstroke, and…well fuck me; he knew what to say and when to say it, didn’t he?

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5 Responses to “Choose your moment to speak, and choose it wisely”

  1. Deeone June 14, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    Awesome Post mate! It’s one of those lessons that I am learning to be very mindful of myself. “Pick your battles” comes to mind. Very well written as well. I also am a fan of ole Charlie… never actually heard him speak, but it was rewarding to hear it. Thanks for posting, I had to share that one on FB. ;)

  2. mbwilliams June 16, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

    great video and great post. thankyou

  3. astrawally June 18, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    He has always been one of my most favourite actors and you are right when he chose to spoke it was magical! So power, so true, so motivating. Great post and a great lesson. Nice work
    Astra Wally

  4. David AM August 31, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    Great post dude! To be honest I kind of fall into that enlightened position where I’m too slow and things are one-sided. As a previous comment stated, it’s all about picking your battles. Sometimes I also just feel like it’s not worth explaining myself. Most people just want to be heard. If you can give them that then the next time you talk with them you can open up about what you feel. But the first time, I usually do a lot of the listening. Of course, if I’ve gathered that the person is open to a legitimate discussion then I’ll talk. But even still I am trying to learn to pick my moments better. Again, great post. That speech at the end keeps coming up way too often in my life. HAHA! It’s so fucking good!

  5. Azeez Khan October 19, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    This, was a very well written piece. Very true as well. I wish we could all just master this technique of knowing what to say and when to say it. The point is though, what you have written here is amazing. Adding that video was YOUR masterstroke my friend. It really did make me tear up. Totally draws you into it. Unbelievable.

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