PM Quote of the Day — Samuel Johnson

Actions are visible, though motives are secret

I’ve found two meanings in this little saying of The Great Cham:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
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