In the Descendents, George Clooney’s character, when dialoguing about how much money he wanted his kids to have, he said ” I want them to have enough to do something but not enough to do nothing.”
That is one of those lines that stops you because it is insightful, profound and easy to wrap your brain around. When you are able to speak in a way that you get people to stop and THINK that is when you become seen by others as being wise.
It is little twists that can make a big difference in how someone sees and responds to what you are saying. I find I am constantly jotting down quotes from movies because they spark thought. I think use these quotes, giving the correct attribution, when I speak.
Here are some other favorites of mine:
“You must think like a man of action and act like a man of thought.” from the movie, the International.
“We had one of those good solid man moments where everything gets said but nobody’s talking.” from the TV Series, Cougartown
“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” Stephen Covey
You may have noticed something in the above quotes- they play off of the same word or phrase but flip it around to give it a different meaning. There is a power in the duality that comes out as words flip spots to change meanings or as in the International movie quote, they are broken in to smaller parts to align in a new way. In the case of the Cougartown quote it speaks volumes about the difference between men and women by defining a man moment as one where the talking happens without speaking.
John Maxwell is really good at creating pithy phrases that play around in your head. I recommend you get his books and study how he can change the way you see something by simply changing the order of the words.
Now I am not saying this comes easy. It takes practice and it starts with raising your awareness of words and phrases around you. Listen with, not only your ears, but with your heart. What hits you and sticks? Why does it stick?
As Einstein said, “Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.” So keep open to seeing things in a new way and playing with words and phrases to see how they feel to you.
So here is the kicker- because you are working your brain and getting it so see things in a new way, you actually do become wiser. You become more aware of your surroundings, more insightful as a listener, and more careful with your speech.
Lastly, remember that it takes time. Einstein wrote a lengthy letter to his cousin and at the end he wrote “I am sorry this is so long. If I had more time I could have made it brief.”