Actions Speak, Words Whisper
Have you ever heard the saying that actions speak louder than words?
I think that is so true. But, I’ll put it another way,
“Actions speak, words whisper”
I believe that communication is super super important. I also believe that the “language barrier” is no more than a minor obstacle. Studies have shown that facial expressions are recognizable and consistent across a variety of cultures and languages.
So are words really that important?
“A picture is worth a thousand words”
So if a thousand words are worth one picture, shouldn’t an action then, be worth much more than a word or two?
That’s cool. Like it’s cool to say, that an action is more important than words by a lot. But, why does that matter? Why is that so?
I would say, that it’s because actions speak, words whisper.
Think about a whisper for a second, does that take a lot of effort or energy? Typically no.
What about speaking? Does that take a lot of energy? Maybe not, but much more than a whisper.
Now, I’m going to remind you that anybody can say something.
Anybody can text something.
Anybody can email something.
But, how many can actually do it?
How many people can say something and then do it?
Matthew 21:28–32 recounts Jesus sharing a parable. The parable is about 2 sons. The father asks if they can go and work in the vineyard. The first son said he would not but then later he changed his mind and went. The second son said he would but then did not go.
Jesus then asks which of the two obeyed the father? Well, the first one did.
Actions speak, words whisper.
If the father went to see the first son in the vineyard, he may ask why he first said he would not go and then did. But, he did still go, and that is what the father asked. The father expected the second son to be in the vineyard but he was not there.
So, my perspective in this particular situation is that the father expected one person in the vineyard. But, he really is only pleased with one son, the son who went.
People who take action, people who make it happen, they are the ones who succeed, gain recognition, and advance.
The people who simply talk about it? They don’t.
I read something more about this recently, but I forget where. I read about the people who see the success of others and say, “Oh, I could have done that too.”
Maybe you could have, maybe you couldn’t have. But, the truth is, you didn’t.
Nobody is going to ask you what you could have done. Nobody. At least no one besides the people who want to talk about what they could have done.
I look back on this weekend and I think, oh I could have worked more, I could have spent more time reading. Well yes, of course I could have, we can always do more or spend more time doing certain things. But, I didn’t. I did not spend more time reading or working, I was doing other things, is that a bad thing? Not always, it depends what matters.
To me, it is only a bad thing when we use that as an excuse. I would be a bad thing if I were to talk all about how hard I was going to work over the weekend only to not really do much.
People say that they could have spent more time doing thing A if only they were not so busy doing thing B.
People say that they could have accomplished thing A if only thing B had not happened to them.
People say that thing A would have been done if only they were not stuck doing thing B.
I think there is one other huge aspect. I just started playing minor league football this year so I’ll use that as an example.
There are two things that I could do, generally speaking.
I could tell the coach all the great things that I could be able to do, I could tell him that I deserve to be on the field and play a major role because of what I can do.
I could go out in practice and give 100% and make plays. I could volunteer to play special teams and to be on the field for all aspects of the game.
Which would the coach more likely think is true? Which would give me a better chance of playing or starting?
Action. Action every single time.
Actions show, words tell
Actions speak, words whisper
Actions prove, words argue
Actions are, words could be
There is one quote from Gary Vaynerchuk I want to include. He said,
“Whoever asks first is in second place” — Gary Vaynerchuk
I forget the exact context of that quote and where I got it from. But I will say this, the ones who ask first think that someone else knows more, the one who asks first is not working as hard as someone else is, the one who asks wants to learn, yes, but if they ask FIRST, before taking any sort of action, then to me, they are not working hard enough.
Show up, show out, and get it done.
Remember the story of the frogs on lily pads. There are five frogs on a lily pad, one decides to jump off. How many are still on the lily pad?
One frog DECIDED, they used words, but they did NOT take action.
I have never been a man of many words. That is just not my style. It is easy for me to sit and listen. Now, I have gotten better at listening to targeted things though. There are plenty of things that I do not desire to listen to, like most tv shows or movies, I do not get much out of those, I do not enjoy most of them nor do I see how they can contribute to my purpose in life.
I’m not saying that it is better to either listen or to speak, but here is what I will say:
I like to live by the saying,
“Trust, but verify”
So, applying that to this overarching theme of actions speak, words whisper, I like to trust words but verify those words through action.
I will listen when someone tells me they can do something, but, I want to verify that through action, I know that many people may not even be that trusting.