Seth Godin gave an interesting challenge in his podcast last week, where he encouraged people to announce what they were going to say before they say it. For example, if you’re getting frustrated on the phone with a customer service rep, you’d say “Next I’m going to get riled up a bit more and threaten to leave, then I’ll tell you that I know the CEO and I’ll have you fired, and then I’ll start really screaming. Ready? Let’s begin.”
It’d be ridiculous to actually go through with it that way, but taking a moment to think through it yourself might make you realize how ridiculous those actions of yours would be as well.
Seth summarized it well here:
Maybe if you’re not willing to say the thing that you’re about to do, you might not want to do the thing.
It covers most areas of life that if you’re not willing to announce what you’re going to do (or share what you recently did), it might be a poor decision on your part. Much better to think about it ahead of time and change your course of action, than to realize it afterward and be ashamed of how you behaved.