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Before You Speak…

This image reminds me of Socrates’s story of “The Three Filters.”

This story was really important to guide me when I was doing my 21 days to stop complaining.

What do you think?

In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem.

One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?”

Hold on a minute,” Socrates replied. “Before telling me anything, I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Triple Filter Test.”

Triple filter?”

That’s right,” Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say. That’s why I call it the triple filter test.

The first filter is TRUTH. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

No,” the man said, “actually I just heard about it and…”

All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of GOODNESS. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?”

No, on the contrary…”

So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him, but you’re not certain it’s true. You may still pass the test though, because there’s one filter left: the filter of USEFULNESS. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?”

No, not really.”

Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?”

Love & Respect

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About christinelewicki

Christine Lewicki is the Founder and Principal of O Coaching Inc in Los Angeles, California. She is a Certified Career and Business Coach, Speaker, MasterMind Group leader and Published BestSelling Author

2 responses »

  1. Thanks for your posting! Socrate’s filter is a great guideline, there are also other variations:

    Before you speak… Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it the appropriate time? Is it kind?

    Looks like I got the title of your blog completely wrong in the beginning. After reading more postings I have the impression: Complaining isn’t the problem, but an unhealthy obsession on problems, instead of exploring alternatives, solutions and things we might enjoy in life. Not sure if that’s your intention with the book, by stopping to complain a person allows himself/herself to break out of a possibly unhealthy way of thinking. It’s not really about others or being out-spoken, instead it’s about finding a balance. Then again, these are just some thoughts from reading your blog. Hope you can find a publisher for an English version of your book.

    Greetings from Sweden,
    Mark

    Reply
    • Yes you got it right. Complaining is just an outcome related to a way of seeing life. When you do a 21 days challenge to stop complaining,like I did, you make a consistent effort to change the way you see your life and you can literally create a new version of yourself. The book is the story of my journey on this path.

      Reply

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