Don’t Follow Me
What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you are saying.” Ralf Waldo Emerson
If you listen to what I say or write and don’t notice what I do, you are more likely to hear me. Don’t be guided by what I do. I don’t always practice what I preach. Do you? Does anyone? To preach is to advocate, encourage, persuade, to give advice. To practice is to do or preform habitually or customarily. I believe during most of my career I have had a habit of advocating and giving lots of advice about personal decision making, some of it is possibly good advice. But I don’t always have a habit of following my advice. I wonder how many people don’t have that habit?
It is well-known that it easer to give good advice than it is to follow the advice you give. My preaching/practicing confession in this blog is to encourage readers to examine how much they practice what they preach. Does your behavior match your beliefs? Are you a good example of what you advocate?
I have been an advocate of the following advice; a very small sampling:
- Be open-minded – receptive to new ideas.
- Be open-hearted – full of empathy and compassion.
- Keep your mind’s eye on what you don’t see.
- Become as capable of change as the environment.
I can recite examples when I don’t behave this way. And I am sure there are many examples I am not even aware of. Although I am not alone in this transgression, I am not proud of it. It is something I will work on but don’t expect to fully overcome.
Are you aware of your processes of preaching (believing) and practicing (behaving). Do you often pause and reflect?
- Do you listen to yourself speak (preaching, advocating, advising) and then watch what you do (your behavior).
- Do you look at what you do, and then ask yourself: “Is that what I would advise others to do?” “Should I change what I practice or what I preach?”
- Do you ask for feedback when reflecting?
- When your belief and behavior conflict (cognitive dissonance), what do you decide?