In their book, The One Minute Millionaire, Mark Victor Hansen and Robert Allen relate that Marshall Thurber, a partner in a very successful real estate company in San Francisco, CA told of a powerful experiment in his office. In fact, according to Thurber, “It immediately transformed my entire organization.”
They took a saying, based on the wise teaching of an American Indian medicine man, “If it doesn’t serve, don’t say it”, and agreed that anyone who was observed not following the policy of “speaking with good purpose” would donate two dollars to a bowl in the office. At the end of the month the money in the bowl was given to charity. According to Thurber, nothing he has done before or since had such a powerful impact on a group of people.
Wow…what a great idea!
This would also be a wonderful thing to do with your family, as well. Perhaps a “sliding-scale fine” could be arranged depending upon the age of the family member. Wouldn’t that be a constructive, yet fun and entertaining way of teaching your children (and perhaps, the adults, as well) how easy it is to fall into the “gossip trap?” Not to mention how much more effective everyone will be both as individuals and family members when it is avoided.
You can do this by yourself if you feel you need the practice, and those within your workplace or family don’t want to go along with the above idea.
For example, if you feel you are falling into the “gossip trap” you can make an agreement with yourself. Whenever you slip up, you’ll donate a certain amount of money (the higher the price, the more painful, and the quicker you’ll get back on track). At the end of the week, give the money to a homeless person, a shelter, your religious organization, your local Human Society, or to any worthy cause you choose. And make the donation anonymous. Keep a little charity box in your office or home so you won’t have to look around for a place to pay your fine.
How about trying any of the above suggestions for just one week? Okay, then another…and another :-). Please let us know your success stories.