Wise people are not always silent, but they know when to be.

When is it best to speak up?

The subtlety of knowing what to say, when to say it and most importantly, when not to say it, could not be more important in life. We might study the art of diplomacy with an expectation of improving our knowledge of such, but much of this is learned empirically, either through our own actions or in watching those of others.

Sadly, the art of learning empirically comes with a tough downside. There are moments where we speak our mind as if it were the most important thing in the world, and then we discover that it was the most ill-timed opportunity as we watch whatever strategic move we felt we were employing, disintegrate right before our very eyes. 

The tragedy of these moments is that with greater knowledge, we might have been better served to have learned the art of silence instead. The adage, “It is better to keep your mouth closed and thought a fool, than open your mouth and confirm it,” could not be any more applicable.

In the course of running The Illusion Factory, I have been exposed to countless businesses, methodologies, approaches, strategies and tactics, most of which I knew very little about going into the discussions with the clients. I would say my clients have taught me every bit as much as I have taught them, if for no better reason than I have mastered the art of asking the right questions and not answering the wrong questions with a weak answer, or lying and pretending to know something I do not know. People are very quick to help you if you admit ignorance at the outset.

In personal relationships, the same principle applies. Regardless of which kind of personal relationship you are in, there are times you speak your mind, and other times when holding your tongue and allowing a circumstance to be is (by far) the best option. 

As I was discussing earlier in the week, sometimes silence is your greatest ally. Sometimes it can be thunderous in the silence it communicates to the other party. In that silence, the other party must consider all of the possible reasons for your silence, which may set their mind ablaze with considerations. This can be both a great strategy when timed appropriately, as well as a wise move, when you are trying your best to field the circumstances you have found yourself within, and are still contemplating your best options for resolution.

The short-lived enjoyment of blurting out what is really on your mind, is most often times rewarded with less than what you had hoped for in your calculated thoughts. After enough of these luxuries in allowing your internal being to communicate bluntly with others have exploded in your face, only then does your rational mind take control of the tongue and put everything in check long enough to really consider your options, even if your very best option is doing and saying nothing.

Happy Friday!

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!