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How to Deliver Your Contemplated Truths

Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 10:38PM by Registered CommenterLon Langston | Comments Off

Thomas Aquinas said, “Better to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.”

I’m watching the Democrat debate on CNN, as I write this. The candidates on stage, just like the candidates on stage at the Republican debates, are articulating thoughts on complex issues. What Thomas Aquinas said and what politicians, preachers, professors and all good public speakers do is not easy. The idiom “easier said than done” does not apply. Contemplated truths are not easily said.

There are at least three steps through which a thought must travel, before it can be delivered to others. Most of us rarely spend the time and effort to just think. To sit alone in a room and think is a rare thing. The first step is to just think - to merely contemplate.

Good ideas don’t often hang around. They make a brief stop in our consciousness, and then quickly continue on their way. The second step is to capture the fleeting truths that result from contemplation.

The third step is to do the hard work of turning thoughts into words. A lot of contemplative people fail to do this step. The result is being half prepared. “Half prepared” is when we know what we want to say, but cannot recruit and arrange the words to clearly articulate it.

The technique of deliberate practice (delineated in Daniel Coyle’s book, The Talent Code) is useful here. Deliberate practice is learning small chunks of data precisely, instead of learning whole concepts imprecisely.  

The goal is to have contemplated truths march out of your mouth fully formed.