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Fit for Life: A Great Lesson from 4th Graders

Sunday, February 03, 2019


I was at a middle school dance recital last week and I saw an interesting acronym for the word “THINK”. It went like this: “Before you speak, “think”.  Then it asked these questions alongside the word.

T- is it True?

This isn’t only a great lesson for children but adults also. When you speak, are you a compulsive liar, or do you speak the truth?

Yes, sometimes the truth hurts, but wouldn’t you rather know what someone really thinks about you. Do you like being lied to on any level? When top leaders and officials do nothing but lie to us, isn’t it time that we rose above and started being truthful to ourselves as well as others? Sometimes we need to hide the truth to preserve someone’s feelings, or to keep something a surprise, but when it comes to important issues, the truth is always best.


H-is it Helpful?

Many people are the opposite. Instead of saying something helpful that will drive you forward and help you have a better day, they say something stupid that causes you to become angry and irritable. Before I went on my trip, someone told me to be careful not to get robbed by pickpockets. They had no merit to say that, and their intentions weren’t to be helpful. I wasn’t vacationing to a high crime area and instead of saying “I heard the weather is going to be hot, so don’t forget sunscreen, they had to put a negative useless spin on the conversation and say something ridiculous instead of helpful.


I- is it Inspiring?

When you say something to someone is it inspiring or insulting. Do you say “great job keep up the good work” or something demeaning like “you could’ve done better? Sometimes it only takes a few different word choices to turn criticism into inspiration, and when you inspire someone, they usually achieve great things. “Hey if you keep working that hard, you will surely achieve your goals”. Or “Don’t get down on yourself if you fail the first attempt, many great people have failed in the past.” are a couple of great quotes that will inspire someone to do better.  


N- is it necessary?

This is where gossip comes in. Do you really need to be taking about other people and their problems? Or haw about negative trivial bullshit that has nothing to do with you? Just watch a particular news station, and you will hear hours of unnecessary garbage being spewed from one person to the next. And the worst part about it is that nothing ever gets solved, they just keep insulting one person after another with a bunch of useless rhetoric. It’s downright annoying to listen to. So if you gather in groups to gossip and talk about others in a negative way, remember it’s an unnecessary waste of time and energy.


K- is it Kind?

A few kind words go a long way, and not only will you make someone feel better about themselves, you feel better too!!

Try paying someone a complement, and watch their face beam up, or turn red. When that happens, you will smile too. Kindness is both infectious and contagious. And the best thing about it is that it doesn’t cost anything, and it’s easy to do. It requires less effort to pay someone a compliment than it does an insult.


So, let’s all take some lessons from a poster in a fourth grade classroom, and think before we speak. Take inventory about what you are going to say. Is it true, are you being helpful, will what you say inspire someone, is it necessary to say, and are you being kind. When you give it some thought and apply the acronym, you will find that what you say has some merit, and that will enhance any conversation, and fulfill not only yourself image, but make someone else’s day.


If you’re answer is “NO” to any of those questions, then do not say it, and think of something else to say!!

Committed to your success,

Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. 


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