The Art of Silence

Over the last couple of months I've begun to really focus my attention at the day job on things that I can accomplish rather than the things I'm asked to do. This doesn't mean that I wilfully ignore tasks and responsibilities. Instead, it's become crucial for me to expend energy only where it will have a positive impact for colleagues. What this means is that I generally argue points much less when participating in large group conversations where decisions need to be made, as I've pounded the desk long enough on the same issues for years. If people didn't listen back then, why in the world would they listen now? This has not gone unnoticed by some of the people I work most closely with, who have mentioned that they "miss the feisty Jason".

Personally, I like it better this way. The lack of arguments means that I get to spend less time feeling frustrated and more time solving problems. The larger projects that I participate on are generally overrun with corporate politics with a pair of rival fiefdoms duking it out for … dominance of some kind? I don't know nor care, really, as it's a waste of energy.

With this background laid out, I can now get to the reason for this post.

A couple days ago I heard a wonderful little sound-bite that will join the oft-quoted wisdom that it's better to keep silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. This new one works for people who are able to converse in multiple tongues:

The ability to speak several languages is an asset.
The ability to keep your mouth shut is priceless.

People who know me will likely find this comical given my propensity to speak when given a soapbox and a topic. However, as I continue to work towards being a better me it's become clear that sometimes it really is better for me to be silent rather than get involved in forgettable squabbles; particularly those that take place at the day job.

We all have things that we are passionate about. There's a time and a place to express that passion. In my case, I'm going to choose to put my energy into solving real problems in a positive manner.