Taming Monkey Number 10: Talk Less, Do More

Every once in a while, when I’m in the middle of a discussion, Bianca, my 5 year old daughter breaks in with a low voice, but very firmly: “dad, you talk too much!” And oh, she is right every time. 🙂

I don”t know from where she picked this up. It may be that at some point I said that to her. Or it may be that she simply believes that I do talk too much. And as much as I don’t want to admit it, it’s true. I have this tendency to over-verbalize stuff (I don’t even know if “over-verbalize” is a word, but it looked nice here). I have an obsession for putting things into words and writing them down. On the bright side, this created a blog with 100.000 unique visitors each month. Writing three times a week, for three years, well, that pays back big time.

But on the dark side, this has some surprising side effects. Introducing monkey number 10: “talk less, do more”. If you read my blog for a while, you know that for 2011 I ditched my new year resolutions in favor of a new approach: 12 monthly challenges, in which I will try to “tame an inner monkey”. If you want to know the full scoop, read the introductory post here. And if you want to know more about what an inner monkey is, read this.

The Challenge

When I refer to “talking too much”, the usual suspect is, of course, the blog. This is why I took a huge break in October. I barely wrote 3 articles for the entire month. Which is almost nothing for me. And since I got here, I want to thank to all of you who wrote me to ask if everything is ok. Yes, it is. Better than never actually.

But when I say “talking too much”, I also mean spending too much energy in putting my life into words each and every day, versus actually doing stuff and enjoying it. And that was the biggest challenge for October. There were moments during which I felt a bit lost and adrift. Because I was very much used to anchor myself daily in my own story. Like writing on the blog, engaging in social media, journaling and so on. It was a very secure approach. Gave me stability and a sense of purpose.

But clinging too much on your own story may take you away from other, possibly much more interesting stories. Introversion and self exploration is good, but the world, believe it or not, is also taking place outside. Like in the things you do. Decisions you take and implement. Relationships you start and manage. Waking up each day, doing stuff without writing it down and then going to sleep with that unspeakable sense of fulfilling, only to wake up refreshed and ready to start again next morning. And when you’re immersed in this ocean of events, talking about them may start to feel almost superfluous.

That was the biggest lesson I learned by taming the 10th monkey. I may have talked too much in the past, but I think I found a little bit of balance now. So do expect me to continue to write here, but not at the same pace as before. Or, to be more correct, not in an imposed, artificial pace. If I feel I have to write 3 posts per day, I’ll do it. If I feel I want to write only one post per month, I will write only one post per month.

Life Unfolding

Since the lesson is learned, I think it’s safe to make a short recap of what I actually did during October. And, as you will see, it’s a lot.

Moved out into a new apartment

During the process, I did some of the most empowering stuff I did lately. Namely, I got rid of some of the stuff I wrote as a teenager (among other stuff). When I moved out from the house I still own (rented it to somebody when I decided to move out) I had to get rid of an incredibly high amount of stuff. Literally there were hundreds of useless objects I had to throw away. And, among them, my teenage notebooks. I always thought of what I wrote in those notebooks like something that defined me. And by doing this, I was stuck in that definition of myself. Unable to move out, to change, to explore. Throwing away some of my notebooks (along with other garbage) was a liberating experience. Letting go is tough, but necessary.

Retook my position in WPSumo

I always was very fond of this project. So, when an opportunity to take over the entire WPSumo project from one of the founders emerged, I jumped on it. I’m still putting together the bits and pieces, reframing the strategy and taking care of the usual stuff that a business require, but all in all I’m really happy I’m on board again.

Went to an improv show for the first time

It may seem like a minor event, but for me was important. Also, proved that once you set up your vibration properly, necessary events are created into your life. Seeing this show – which made me laugh incessantly for almost two hours – made me realize that sometimes you just have to go with the flow. Improvise. Expect the unexpected. And, most important, learn to laugh at it, instead of controlling the outcome.

Signed my first independent publishing agreement

Two of my titles will be translated into Korean and sold as ebooks by an independent publisher. This is big. This is something so important for me, that I can barely put it into words. I don’t think it will be huge in terms of revenue – although my publisher said I was a pretty tough negotiator – but it is already very important in terms of personal choices. I do write books and they are needed by people. They are actually published. It’s hard to describe the feeling, believe me.

All in all, I think it was a very dense month.

The 11th Monkey

It will be about relationships. I am committed to strengthen my relationships on all levels: professionals, in the first place, and, most important, personal. I already did a few moves in this area and things are looking pretty good. Also, there are a few supporting events that will make this challenge even more interesting during November.

On 7th, I will be part of a panel at ZileleBiz, a national business event in Romania, where I will speak about digital nomading. On 22nd I’m invited to the biggest Internet event in Romania, NetCamp, and on 23rd I will be again part of VentureConnect, a very special business opportunity, which aims at connecting entrepreneurs with investors.

So, busy times ahead. Like I said: talk less and do more. 🙂

12 thoughts on “Taming Monkey Number 10: Talk Less, Do More”

  1. Wow…I think you did in October more than I did in the past 3 month! I guess my monkeys are a bit more scattered than yours! Good luck with monkey #11!

    Reply
  2. Dragos,
    You are not alone! I have learned to keep my ramblings to my 3 kids to less than 3 minutes! After 3 minutes they complain that it is a “lecture”! And my kids are older than yours. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  3. I must say that I admire your attitude towards these challenges.
    With regards to the blog posts, I thought 2 posts a day, or writing 2 articles a day was tedious, and you say 3 was nothing! phew. Now i know i’ve got a long way to go.

    Keep up the blogging man!

    Reply
  4. Hi,
    Sounds like you got yourself under control. I always try to do too many things things at once and then never finish any of them. My monkey #1 will be to focus, focus, focus and complete what I set out to do.
    Thanks,
    Jim

    Reply
  5. Hi Dragos,
    I too have had to take time away from my blog to work on personal stuff. Even though this was hard at first, when i finally did come back to blogging I felt refreshed and ready to go.

    Congratulation on your independent publishing agreement. 🙂

    Reply
  6. I don’t know how to put this but you’ve made your point clear, yet still if there wouldn’t have been so many stupid “backseat drivers”(talk more do less dudes) in all the possible fields where would be the fun. Apart from the fact that they talk a lot without making any sense at all, sometimes I do find it to be quite educating … (when I say to myself “For God’s sake … Don’t be like that guy is!”)

    Reply
  7. I think it’s an amazing idea! I’m planning to start doing this myself, I think it’s much better than a New Year’s Resolution because you can actually start it every month.

    Reply
  8. I love this idea of 12 monthly challenges. I wish I had heard of it before now, I think it’s an amazing idea! I’m planning to start doing this myself, I think it’s much better than a New Year’s Resolution because you can actually start it every month. As opposed to falling behind and then giving up partially through the year. Congratulations on making it through month number 10 as well, and good luck with month number 11!

    Reply

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