That’s right! We’ve been used to hearing and reading about it the other way around. ‘Walk the talk!’ is the constant refrain for leadership. You should ‘do as you say, practice what you preach’.
I’ve found that while the (almost cliched) saying “Walk the Talk” works fine for those situations where we may benefit from it, there’s the flip saying also which is very effective in growing and spreading a greater understanding. Most people don’t give a second thought to whether what they are saying is true about themselves. This may be fine as long as you ascribe the authorship of what you say to someone else, someone greater than yourself, but why do we treat what we say as separate from our own behavior?
You may be very sincerely giving advice to another from the storehouse of quotations you carry in your mind. In such a scenario you are the medium through which someone (the author’s) else’s learning is finding new ears. It doesn’t make any difference to how you may be. Or at least it gives you the liberty of some time before people may expect you to follow what you have said, to demonstrate in action the same wise words. So let’s consider another approach. An approach to changing yourself for the better forever.
Let’s say you hold yourself very responsible for saying something that you do not practice. In such a case, out of a sense of integrity, you would diligently also mention that these words have been said by so and so. Lets also assume that you don’t want to have to keep remembering what other people have said simply to share them with others, but you use them more to make a difference to who you are. In such a scenario, one very simple thing to do is to only share what you do, and how you yourself are.
Choose to only share those aspects or facts that you have already worked upon, and the changes you have already caused with them. Make sure you always have something new to talk about. With this approach, it follows that you will first practice differently, analyze the results for yourself, and then talk about the successes, the lessons. If you are trying out new ways of doing things, of being yourself, you will always have many lessons to talk about.
When you talk from personal experience, and from the rewards that you yourself have reaped, it becomes something far more engaging and valuable. Such conversations have far reaching depths, and impact that may just be the change that was needed. It’s our integrity with ourselves. It’s living personal integrity as alignment between what we think, believe, say, and do.
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