Are we swayed often by the sweet words of others? Or perhaps by their inspirational and motivational call-to-action words? It is natural to get swayed by those who speak well. But it would do good to separate the walkers of the their path from simply the talkers. And the world is full of the latter.
One such example is in the world of investing. Twitter is full of them, as is perhaps Reddit too in recent days. Recommendations fly fast and wide on which stocks to buy and which to sell. Newbie investors get easily carried away – often investing the entirety of their hard earned savings, only to realize it was either a ponzi scheme or worse.
As Nassim Nicholas Taleb of Black Swan fame says, “Never ask anyone for their opinion, forecast, or recommendation. Just ask them what they have – or don’t have – in their portfolios.”
This is easily extended to non-investment real life as well. As Rene Descartes put it, “To know what people really think, pay regard to what they do, rather than what they say.”
This simple principle can be used to find the right mentors, guides, friends, colleagues, business partners and any others with whom you need to build a long term relationship. If they do not walk the talk, then it is only talk.