I’ve found two meanings in this little saying of The Great Cham:
- Our actions — even unconscious tics or posture — can betray a meaning we don’t necessarily mean. What may be fatigue for us may look like boredom to another. I know that one video of me presenting was enough to make me acutely aware of how my carriage and affect undermined my message. I also realized that the same principle applied to all of my interpersonal relationships.
- A little innocence about motive isn’t entirely naive. With some people that may require complete suspension of disbelief; however, delving into motive is a tricky and time-consuming business. I try not to let my default trust setting become “suspicion” — actions will reveal what needs knowing in the fullness of time.