The 4 Most Dangerous Words in the English Language

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"I already know that."

Why are these four words the most dangerous in the English language?

Because when you utter these words, you have closed your mind to the possibilities.

Let's say someone is about to give a presentation. You hear its title and you groan, "I already know that."

What happens next?

You turn off your mind. You start doodling or making a list of things to do. Or you start reading ahead to see what the next speaker on the agenda should have to say.

You've just closed off any possibility that you might actually learn something new.

Maybe you DO think you know this topic. But are you experiencing success? Any success at all?

If you ARE successful, wouldn't you like MORE?

Then uncross your arms and get that look off your face. You know the one I'm talking about. The one that says, "I already know that."
#dangerous #english #language #words
  • Profile picture of the author reglice7
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    • Profile picture of the author borischileno
      True but some people just do not like recycled information so the whole thing gets boring
      that's right, do you want to be like the 95% majority ?
      my mentor would say you can either be a STUD or a DUD but you can't be both. You can be crazy and rich or original and poor.

      thanks for sharing
      Boris
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      • Profile picture of the author 1 Marketing
        "I already Knew that" may be truly the most dangerous words. But some times I have seen if you have already knowledge and you have gone in more depth then the newbie speaker.

        I once had stuck on an occasion. A newbie speaker wanted us to hear every thing he know about a very childish theme. I had knowledge way beyond he was talking about but just for showing a positive attitude... I spent whole one hour hearing his bla bla...

        So in my opinion it's not always the most dangerous to think that you already knew it.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jillian Slack
          I can understand your point that you don't want to waste time listening to recycled information.

          But here's an example of how "I already know that" can be dangerous.

          What if you've heard it before, but it hasn't sunk in?

          What if you need to hear it again so you can REALLY hear it and understand it?

          Here's an example.

          I've been involved with a hobby group for a while that meets regularly. They discuss this hobby and actually create things with this hobby. Some of the members of the group are really talented, while others aren't. Some try hard, but others don't.

          This can be a lucrative hobby if you're good enough and sell your work.

          But some of the people who have been members for many years, and are still plugging away at the hobby, haven't sold their work.

          They'd like to sell it.

          They dream of selling it and "making it big."

          What's the problem?

          They're missing some of the vital information on how to properly craft what they create. So, as they pump out creation after creation, they're just not as good as they need to be in order to sell.

          Why are they missing this vital info that would be so helpful?

          Mainly because they hear what the next speaker plans to talk about at the next meeting and often say, "Are you kidding me? I've been in this group for years. I already know that. I'm not going to sit through it again."

          So while the newbies (and a lot of oldies) sit at the meeting, taking notes like crazy, and asking questions to delve deeper into the methods, these "I already know that" people either skip the meeting or they sit there with their arms crossed and act like this is all too elementary for them.

          Of course, even if you hear all of the details and keep an open mind, it still doesn't guarantee you'll sell.

          Still need to put those methods into practice, just like anything else.

          I've done well with this other hobby, and when I've had the chance to give presentations to the group, I've encountered a lot of the "I already know that" attitude and I just want to SCREAM, "Yes, I realize that you think you know this. But you're not listening to the basics, and you keep making mistake A, B and C. Let me help you get these methods down and then you can smooth it over and move on."

          It's not always regurgitated, recycled info. Sometimes we miss the gems because we're too focused on how familiar we are with the same old dirt.

          Just another way to look at it.

          Jill
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  • Profile picture of the author AbsolutionRT
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    • Profile picture of the author Eswar
      I already know that.:p
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      • Profile picture of the author Steven Heron
        A great post Jilian. Whilst simple, it does ring true in many ways.

        I don't think it's much of an issue if we already know something, or if someone who's less experienced than us comes along and tries to preach to the choir about something we know better than them, of course those situations arise where we would be well within our right to ignore the person, but I think the greater message, the greater point, is to never be too cocky and think that you know everything about something, and thereby become oblivious to any potential acquisition of further knowledge in that subject.

        I absolutely love it when a subject I believe I know something about is discussed, only to find out that I have some important (or minor) detail about the subject absolutely wrong. It means I've learned something, and had I closed my mind off from discussing that subject to begin with because I already "knew it", then I would have failed to have been corrected.

        So I interprete what Jilian says as meaning "don't become too damn cocky".
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  • Profile picture of the author theinfomaven
    Its also called hindsight bias in real psychology.

    And it's not the most dangerous. Plenty of other words hold equal weight (or rather, the meaning attached to them does....)
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    • Profile picture of the author miles more money
      Originally Posted by theinfomaven View Post

      Its also called hindsight bias in real psychology.

      And it's not the most dangerous. Plenty of other words hold equal weight (or rather, the meaning attached to them does....)
      It is true it is our interpretation of words that can cause the problem rather than the meaning of the speaker.

      Nic
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  • Profile picture of the author eseller17
    Nice quote Jillian, and very true it's our own theories that sometimes prevent us from knowing new things, however by being moderate and good listeners we can save ourselves a lot
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  • Profile picture of the author Kyle Tully
    If you ever catch yourself saying "I already know that" ask yourself if you're using that knowledge.

    'cause knowing it won't make you a cent, but putting that knowledge into action just might.

    I guarantee most people on this forum know a TON more about Internet marketing than they're actively using.
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  • Profile picture of the author ken_p
    Originally Posted by Jillian Slack View Post

    "I already know that."



    You turn off your mind. You start doodling or making a list of things to do. Or you start reading ahead to see what the next speaker on the agenda should have to say.

    You've just closed off any possibility that you might actually learn something new.

    Maybe you DO think you know this topic. But are you experiencing success? Any success at all?

    If you ARE successful, wouldn't you like MORE?

    Then uncross your arms and get that look off your face. You know the one I'm talking about. The one that says, "I already know that."
    i totally agree with you. the possibilities in learning are endless, and there should be no end to it.:-)
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  • Profile picture of the author pinoy bands
    that is very true. I think it is dangerous in a way that it gives an impression that you don't want to learn new things. thanks for sharing.
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  • Profile picture of the author eijk82
    I agree with that, I've experienced that also. I told a friend of mine something about SEO and he said. "Hey I know many things about SEO, so don't teach me laah". But then I tried to convinced him that this was the strategy that he hasn't known yet. Unfortunately he was realy stubborn. so I had no more choice but leave him that way.
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  • Profile picture of the author SiteFlipRemix
    In Zen Buddhism there is a concept of Beginners Mind - which is much like what you are basically describing. That phrase can destroy the sense of Beginners Mind, thus closing you off from pure possibility and potentiality.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marx Melencio
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  • Profile picture of the author metafever
    This is so true.

    Every man I meet is my master in some way. I can gleam from the wisdom of all around me.
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    • Profile picture of the author daneault23
      I agree with you Jillian. There is always something to learn, even if you claim to know everything about a subject. The others may look at something in a different way than you do, and maybe that will bring you new ideas about something.

      Claiming to know all there is about something, and shutting yourself off from listening to them is disrespectful and can potentially be bad because you could be missing out on some useful information.
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  • Profile picture of the author oic800
    I already know that is an assumption that I have been guilty of many times. Thank you for the reminder and I will pause to at least investigate a bit more before deciding that. Sometimes just one bit of info can make a difference in ones life.
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  • Profile picture of the author HouseGirl
    Jillian,

    Great post!

    As a lifelong learner and natural born teacher, one of my personal mantras is to "learn once, teach twice". Spread the wealth around. You do a great job of living my mantra!

    Leslie
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  • Profile picture of the author Stevie Drive
    Here's an add-on to Jill's "I already know that": You don't know SQUAT until you've done it.

    You might THINK you know what a "Sugar Apple" taste like (a fruit in the Caribeans), because the name implies an apple thats sugary, but you will NEVER know what it REALLY taste like until you've actually took a big, juicy bite, twirled it around with your tongue, salivated on the juices, and took a big gulp down your throat. Now you've TASTED it.
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    • Profile picture of the author vneely
      Yup. "Knowing" isn't the same as KNOWING. Or maybe it's better to say that "knowing" something isn't the same as putting it into practice, experiencing the benefits for yourself, understanding the nuances, and believing in it.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasontorres
    I agree with your post that people who say that "they already know this" tend to shut off their minds, and ignore information that they have seen before. This can be detrimental as a person can always have an AHHA moment from hearing something a second or even third time.

    I personally attend many of my company's regional trainings that they put on in various cities, and although I know the presentation by heart, I always leave more empowered.

    Successful people do successful things, and being a life long humble learner, will get a person to their desitination faster!

    Great Post
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  • Profile picture of the author Leanne King
    Your post reminds me of someone that I do know

    Everything I tell him he "already knows that" (this is also accompanied by eye rolling) what confuses me is that although he knows everything he does nothing. Two years on and he still has a blank website nothing on it ... oh yes.. and although he knows how to set up a wordpress site I was the one that installed it two years ago for him lol

    Knowing does not equal doing
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  • Profile picture of the author cmbwealth
    What I enjoy is when I think I know, then someone with way less experience than me comes along and explains the idea in a way that I never considered.

    I think that people who think they know, have simply shut their mind off. Everyone looks at the same thing differently.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Blaisdale
    This is a great point. And this is one of the reasons why I am always doing research for my website. I run a weight loss oriented website and try to target the health market in general so it is important for me to try and learn as much as possible.

    I honestly do not think it is possible to know too much about something. You must keep pushing yourself to have an open mind towards new knowledge because it can help you in many ways down the road.
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  • Profile picture of the author PeteSafe
    I agree with your post Jillian, it is showing a closed mind. What about the Three Most Dangerous Words - I, Me, My.
    They can kill any conversation, as the orator is only focused internally and not about their surrounds and the people in the conversation.
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  • Profile picture of the author Woody C
    I would like to add in "I can't do it". I hate those four words.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark 2
    So you mean we have total 8 dangerous words...

    "I already know it" and "I can't do it."
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    • Profile picture of the author dsanchez
      Agree with Mark 2. Those 4 additional words are also dangerous.

      Dagmar
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  • Profile picture of the author kayvee
    Great post.

    you are right...just because we know something intellectually doesnt mean we are acting on it.

    i am not sure if it was Socrates or Plato who said that the person who doesnt know and knows that he doesnt know is the most intelligent.

    Moral of the story:

    Never stop learning
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    • Profile picture of the author rcm3rd
      This is A Great Post!

      and soo true !

      One phrase I keep reminding myself that's dangerous is;

      I can do it alone.

      Thanks


      Ray
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  • Profile picture of the author traian29
    From my experience I observed that people who think they know everything don't really know a thing...

    I also agree with rcm3rd, even if you can do it alone it's more fun when you work with people.
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  • Profile picture of the author landing-page-dude
    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but those are not the 4 most dangerous words in the english language. Having been married for 8 years, I can tell you.

    It's: "How Do I look"?
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    • Profile picture of the author wwstewart
      Originally Posted by landing-page-dude View Post

      I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but those are not the 4 most dangerous words in the english language. Having been married for 8 years, I can tell you.

      It's: "How Do I look"?
      You forgot about "Will you marry me?", which leads to your four words...

      *snicker*
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  • Profile picture of the author Blaze044
    Very true. "I already know that.." leaves NO room whatsoever for improvement. VERY true. Careful guys!
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    • Profile picture of the author landing-page-dude
      haha, well I honestly do try to tell her. But us guys tend to screw up words lol. no matter what we say, it gets twisted. Comeon guys....you know what i mean
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  • Profile picture of the author Edgar Moreno
    forget the 4 letter sentences of I cant do it and whatnot. If you start a sentence with just 2 words "I CANT..." then you are already set up for failure.

    Unless of course you say "I cant fail" but now we are just going off topic. You all get my point. 'I can't' is generally the start of a bad sentence.
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    • Profile picture of the author Blaze044
      Originally Posted by efusjonrawenergy View Post

      forget the 4 letter sentences of I cant do it and whatnot. If you start a sentence with just 2 words "I CANT..." then you are already set up for failure.

      Unless of course you say "I cant fail" but now we are just going off topic. You all get my point. 'I can't' is generally the start of a bad sentence.
      Yes, very true also, but people, remember that our minds are built in a special way we can take advantage of. The human mind can't process Negatives. If I tell you right now.. Dont imagine a Blue Elephant. Yep, you just did, even at the back of your mind, to process the sentence "Dont imagine a blue Elehpant", your mind has to visualize a Blue Elephant in order to negate it. Thats why we should always speak positive. Instead of "I cant Fail", why not try. "I WILL succeed"?

      Have a nice day people
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      • Profile picture of the author Prattism
        I agree whole-heartedly with the statement and it's danger.
        I'm far more afraid of a single word statement, I hear uttered from the youth around me in a near constant litany of apathy:

        Whatever.

        It's beyond the risk of being close minded, or failing to learn more. The Not Caring about anything, that's what scares me. And it's as common as dirt.

        Of course you can just ignore this post. I don't really care. Don't like it?

        Whatever.
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  • Profile picture of the author Justin Humphries
    I agree! I think there are a lot of words out there that are very dangerous...it all comes down to the thoughts behind those words. I think Henry Ford said it best:

    "If you think you can or you think you can't, you're right."

    I think that people will say things like that because they don't really believe they can do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author jose13
    Any word, statement or affirmation that lacks the potential to move, create or beggin a thought process is dangerous such as:

    I can't do it
    It's impossible
    I hate this...
    Whatever
    I know this
    Maybe tomorrow.. among many others.
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    • Profile picture of the author mexia
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  • Profile picture of the author betesh
    "I already know that" is just one of those words that we think is dangerous, but still its how you say it. Sometimes it can be intentional or just for fun.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gurnell
    I love that comment, "I already know that." I usually come back with something like, "Oh great! So tell me how it's helped you?" That usually shuts them down just as quickly as they tried to shut you down. And then I continue relaying information if they are receptive. If they're not,then clearly, I must not waste time....I KEEP IT MOVING.
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  • Profile picture of the author ValueRays
    What about when you ask someone a question, and they reply sarcastically with, "I already told you?" What's a good response to that?
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  • Profile picture of the author tercio8
    4 words:
    Made in China Period
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  • Profile picture of the author Hsekhar
    For me the most dangerous words are "will start it from tomorrow". Those were the words that delayed my goals and kept me in poverty.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rich Lowe
    One of the best things I heard someone say was when this particular student in Aikido(martial art) said to his teacher at a seminar " but sensei I'm trying" this teacher looked at his student and replied with "Trying, stop trying and just do it. Trying is crap" That teacher was movie star Steven Seagal

    Rich
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelSchultz
    The moral of the story is simply to keep an open mind even when you wanna close it
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    • Profile picture of the author SelenaB
      Ditto, Michael Schultz! Well said.
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    • Profile picture of the author matthewferry
      Sadly some people will never have the chance to realize that their world is formed by mostly their opinions. saying words like that and being a "know-it-all" deprives people of change, making it smaller and smaller as they grow old.

      I admire people in this forum, you guys are really the few percent of people who take that extra step to a place the "know-it-all" 's will never go to.

      cheers!
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  • Profile picture of the author marketingstatic
    "I Already Know That"...?!
    Maybe, the most dangerous 4 words in English dictionary but only to those who can't even think more after hearing those words.
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  • Profile picture of the author NetworxNZ
    "A closed mind is like a closed book; just a block of wood" - Chinese Proverb

    I any and EVERY situation - there is always something to learn....

    I was at a chamber of commerce event last night and amoungst the guest speakers was one of the most unengaging people I've seen for a very long while - however I stood and watched his presentation and in doing so had a great business idea come to me - a corporate presentation service "We speak when you can't" - you offer a small speaking fee to present on behalf of your customer but then agree on a call to action to do something or buy something (which was approriate for this event) and then take a percentage of those takings...... everyone has something to offer - if we approach each person and situation with an open mind and open heart..... remember though that all that we hear may not be useful, even destructive, however even from these things we can glean goodnesss, knowledge and even enlightenment.
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  • Profile picture of the author dking88
    I completely agree! it's funny that you say that b/c I have thought of that before...

    those 4 words close your mind from then on! great point!

    I also think that "Can't, No, doubt" can be harmful as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Ho
    I think the 4 worst words are "I can't do it".
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  • Profile picture of the author emofree
    well you can add these phrase "I'm really a failure" or "I've got no hope" is also the most dangerous words in english. Now these two 4 phrases has an end it's like it's the end of the world if you use these words.
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  • Profile picture of the author brotherpaulmiller
    Shouldn't it be the most dangerous two words: "If only" instead of "Next Time."

    By focusing on the past instead of facing the future, you destroy yourself.

    Make it a great day!

    Brother Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author Hesaidblissfully
      I always thought the two most dangerous words in the English language are "I can't." (I know you said 4, but I had to throw that in there.)
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      • Profile picture of the author cheesy
        Originally Posted by Hesaidblissfully View Post

        I always thought the two most dangerous words in the English language are "I can't." (I know you said 4, but I had to throw that in there.)
        I agree with you there, if you can believe it, you can do it. That's my opinon. Never let your doubts get to your head if you gotta good feeling about somthing.
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  • Profile picture of the author edmltw
    I already know that long time ago.

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  • Profile picture of the author birdfood
    This is more dangerous "you cannot do that"
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  • Profile picture of the author dxFactor
    agree. most dangerous words "I already know that" ..
    but still, there are so many people kinda like to say that, continuously ..
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  • Profile picture of the author tamal
    Well said,I fully agree with you.The day when you will think that you have learnt everything and you know everything will led to your downfall.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gavin Abeyratne
    On a related note, I always find it interesting that sometimes I think I know something, but dont REALLY understand its significance until I delve a bit deeper.

    Its like reading marketing ebooks. You read them, you know the material, but its only once you start implementing it that you really GET it.

    Must have happened to me a dozen times!
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  • Profile picture of the author elonblock
    Great reminder for me! I read a study done by Denis Waitely (sp) and a group of people comprised of athletes and students. The scientists hooked these people up to some sort of measuring device(s) which showed a change in brain patterns and a change in their blood chemistry when they said certain words such I can, or I can't, I believe or I don't believe etc.

    The results were fascinating because it showed that the body would react differently to different words. Who knew we were all this sensitive.

    Going back to the original post this really make a lot of sense to me.
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  • Profile picture of the author .
    Depends on the location...

    "Run Fast, Elephant stampede" is also very dangerous....

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  • Profile picture of the author EIH888
    Good post. We need to try to stay Socratic about things...
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  • Profile picture of the author don21stc
    Obviously, no words are physically dangerous and words only have power because of the actions that people take as a result of reading, hearing or saying them. Therefore, it's the way your mind reacts to particular words that is dangerous or motivating or inspiring or depressing or humorous or whatever.
    Great orators have the ability to communicate with and stir into action a great number of people whereas ordinary people can say exactly the same words without producing much of an effect on their audience. I wonder why that's the case?
    Apparently, timing and body language have something to do with it but the words themselves must be composed in such a way that the meaning they are intended to convey impacts on our minds and/or imaginations to produce the desired result.
    Successful comedians and salesmen obviously know the tricks as well as political leaders.
    There's no doubt that words are very powerful things, even in Internet Marketing where apparently the first few words can make or break you!
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  • Profile picture of the author disi
    Originally Posted by Jillian Slack View Post

    "I already know that."

    Why are these four words the most dangerous in the English language?

    Because when you utter these words, you have closed your mind to the possibilities.

    Let's say someone is about to give a presentation. You hear its title and you groan, "I already know that."

    What happens next?

    You turn off your mind. You start doodling or making a list of things to do. Or you start reading ahead to see what the next speaker on the agenda should have to say.

    You've just closed off any possibility that you might actually learn something new.

    Maybe you DO think you know this topic. But are you experiencing success? Any success at all?

    If you ARE successful, wouldn't you like MORE?

    Then uncross your arms and get that look off your face. You know the one I'm talking about. The one that says, "I already know that."
    Yeah. This is dangerous. We tend to think we are so smart that nobody esle can teach us anything. So we close our mind because we are 'smarter'. But sometimes there is a lot of knowledge that we could gain just by trying to listen. Put you ego away and look for value in everything you receive.
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