How does one teach oneself to think before he speaks?
I told you this already more than once. Make up your mind that for the next two hours when somebody speaks to you you’re not going to answer until you count to five. Do that for two hours today. No matter what, you’ll count to five before you respond.
Now, once you accomplish that do it again tomorrow for two hours. And the day after. And after a while you’ll get into the habit of thinking before you talk.
By the way, when you talk to important people you’ll notice that even gentiles l’havdil have learnt not to shoot their mouths off.
Of course, the best thing is you if don’t answer at all. A lot times, small things, you don’t have to answer at all. You listen but you don’t have to answer all the time. But if you must, take your time before you answer. Count: one, two, three, four, five, and then you can open your mouth. That itself makes you considered a wise man to other people.
TAPE # 493 (January 1984)