The Quietest in the Room:

How Being Observant Cultivates Lifelong Success

Imagine an alternate reality where words were a currency. In this reality, every word you utter depletes your life’s savings.

From the day you are born, you are given a set number, and it’s the same as everyone else’s. Just like a board game, it’s up to you to choose how you use your points.

Let me ask you..

How would you use your words?

How would this shape the way you communicate, and how often you do?

How would you measure the importance of the words coming out of your mouth?

When would you speak, when would you rather stay quiet?

Well. That’s the reality I used to live in for a few years when I was 6 years old.

I don’t remember why I came up with this, or where I heard it, but it was a known fact. I lived within these parameters.

I genuinely believed we were each given a set number of words for a lifetime. That once used, that was it, I could not get them back.

This odd belief shaped the way I interacted with the world and the people around me. It made me a listener by default, teaching me the silent power of observation.

Today, I am still am impacted by this lesson.

I still carry it into every conversation, negotiation, and interaction as an adult.

It turned into a life philosophy that I want to talk about today.

1. The Culture of Noise

The world can’t stop talking. Silence is mistaken for absence.

The hustle culture tricks you into thinking you always need to be busy and loud.

This is a pursuit that is relentless, disguised as ambition. It constantly whispers that for you to be seen and to succeed, you must be the loudest, the fastest.

Marketing campaigns like Nike's "Just Do It" pushes you to act without pause. It’s glorifying the grind above all else.

These slogans become mantras, they embed themselves into our culture. They urge you to keep moving, keep shouting, keep striving — at the expense of quiet reflection and the deep, meaningful progress it can bring.

Platforms like Instagram and TikTok have transformed how we view success and visibility. Louder voices and rapid content creation mean greater achievement.

The fast pace of news cycles pressures you to remain perpetually informed and vocal.

Reality TV glorifies those who dominate the conversation. They promote the value of speed and volume deep within your cultural consciousness.

This shift is pushing society into a state of engagement. The noise of ceaseless posting and sharing drowns out moments of quiet introspection.

Worse yet—you're told that silence is failure, that stillness is a step back.

What cost does your voice pay in a race where everyone speaks but no one listens?

You think: "I must do more, speak up, stand out".

You're trading depth for volume, mistaking the echo of your own voice for progress.

This drive never stops. It pushes you to respond, react, and move forward. But, it often comes at the expense of understanding, depth, and real connection.

What if this bias towards action is costing you more than you realize?

What if your failure to listen and observe is the silent thief of innovation, empathy, and meaningful progress?

2. Gaining Through Observance

When you embrace the quiet power of observation, you unlock the potential for more precise and impactful actions.

Silence becomes your strategy. It enables you to gather data and understand the world in a way that loudness never could.

It equips you with unparalleled advantages.

Observation is a gift. It's like gathering free intelligence. Each piece of data sharpens your decisions. It makes your moves not just calculated but more impactful.

This is what’s on the other side of loudness:

Strategic Advantage: Real G’s move in silence. Like the most skilled players in the game of life, you'll learn that the more you observe, the more precise your actions become.

Enhanced Communication: Listen more. You will speak a language everyone craves: understanding. This not only boosts your communication skills but makes every word you choose to speak more powerful. You also tune into nonverbal cues and understand the unspoken. Don’t underestimate eye contact, facial expressions, body language and tone of voice.

Deeper Connections: People gravitate towards those who truly listen. By giving others the floor,you give them the gift of being heard, fostering deeper and more meaningful connections. This attentiveness makes people feel valued and understood. It naturally draws them closer to you.

Improved Problem-Solving Skills: You're often the first to spot potential problems — you pick up on subtle cues. This allows you to address issues before they escalate.

Better Decision-Making: Getting more info before deciding leads to better outcomes. It also leads to more effective ones.

Increased Creativity: Being observant makes you more likely to notice the beauty and complexities of the world. This fuels creativity and innovation. 

Greater Self-Awareness: Recognizing behavior patterns allows for personal growth. It improves emotional intelligence, making you more adaptable and empathetic.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Take it from the master of obvervation and quiet strategy himself: “the wolf in cashmere”, aka Bernard Arnault.

He masterfully demonstrated the power of observance in the luxury goods market in the late 90’s.

In two short years, he navigated the complexities of negotiations between Louis Vuitton and Moët Hennessy, and managed to play both sides effectively.

His strategic silence and keen observation allowed him to gain control. This led to the creation of LVMH, the world's largest luxury goods conglomerate. It propelled him to become one of the richest individuals globally.

3. The Misconception of Quietness

You might be thinking “Bernard Arnaud is unrelatable. Plus, I need to be the Alpha male in the room, otherwise people will think I am weak.”

They think you are weak?


Let them think that. That’s how you play chess.

Being underestimated IS your greatest advantage.

The most effective leaders often operate under the radar, observing and planning before making their move. Quietness allows you to

  • Gather information

  • Understand the dynamics at play

  • Strike with precision when the time is right.

True strength doesn't need constant validation through noise.

Quiet confidence commands respect in a way that constant talking cannot. It's the mark of someone who is secure in their abilities and doesn't need the spotlight to know their worth.

While others are busy talking, you're absorbing, learning, and gaining insights that they miss.

Listening gives you a deeper understanding of people and situations.

It makes you a more empathetic friend. A more astute businessperson. A more effective problem-solver.

When you're quiet, people can't predict your next move. This gives you the element of surprise.

This is a powerful tactic in both personal and professional realms. It allows you to navigate situations with an advantage they never see coming.

Let the world underestimate you. 

It only amplifies the impact you'll make when you choose to speak with your actions and the carefully chosen words that follow.

"I know silent people, and they are disengaged and disinterested."

You think that silence signals disengagement?

Think again.

In the world of communication, silence is often misinterpreted.

When you are silent, you are not on the sidelines; you are deeply immersed in the game.

Being silent is simply engaging differently.

I was often called “absent from the conversation”, when in fact I was:

  • Actively listening and absorbing every word.

  • Processing information, making connections they overlooked.

  • Waiting for the moment my input can make the most significant impact.

The interactions are thoughtful, not impulsive.

So if you are still on the fence, embrace the silence.

It doesn't mute your impact—it magnifies it. It ensures that when you do speak, the world listens.

4. Observations from the Quiet Corner

No strategy is perfect.

In observing my own childhood beliefs that led me to gravitate towards a world of observation, I must also admit that I went a little too far.

I want to bring this up, because you might be on one side of the equation, or the other. And it doesn’t mean that you can’t adjust along the way.

Let me explain.

When I was convinced that humans had a limited quantity of speech, I took it to the extreme.

I remember various times when that happened.

An example would be a disagreement in the car between my mom and my brother, for which I had the answer to break the argument.

I asked myself: Is this worth my words? The answer was no, and so I let them argue some more, and went on with my thoughts.

Obviously, at some point, I realized that this was not sustainable, nor was it accurate.

But after years of doing this, it shaped the way I saw and interacted with the world.

I choose my words carefully.

I always listen and speak to a 90/10 ratio.

I only talk when it’s pertinent, or necessary.

The good:

I always let people speak before me, whether in a group or with one on one. I usually have more information about their thoughts and intentions. They have less about me at any given point. This gives me leverage.

I am pretty comfortable with silence. I use this tool for negotiations, sales.

I gather data before making decisions. This applies to all areas of life.

Some people shoot, then aim.

Others aim, the shoot.

I aim, I take a deep breath to steady myself. I tune into the subtle signs around me. I notice the shift of the wind, the whisper of leaves, and the hidden trails in the underbrush. I align my focus.

Then, I deliver a kill shot.

The not so good:

The fear of public speaking stemmed from my belief that every word I spoke had to carry weight. The more people there were listening, the more crucial it became for my words to resonate equally with everyone.

This amplifyed the pressure on each statement I made.

Eventually, this expectation I set for myself became overwhelming.

It led me to moments where I was simply paralyzed, unable to speak.

To sum it up, the self-imposed pressure created social anxiety.

There are two lesson I learned from this:

  1. When you believe in something hard enough, it has the power to shift your reality. It changes who you are and how you act.

  2. Fully committing in one direction means you’re getting further from the other side. Duality is real, and sometimes, you need to adjust.

5. Frameworks: Cultivating Observant Living

Embracing a lifestyle of observance doesn't mean you have to adopt silence as a permanent state. The goal is for you to find a balance that enhances your perception, decision-making, and interactions.

There's a saying that my grandmother used to share:

"Tourne 7 fois la langue dans ta bouche avant de parler," which litteraly translates to "turn your tongue in your mouth seven times before speaking."

This French proverb emphasizes the value of thoughtful communication.

It's about giving your words the weight they deserve, ensuring what you say truly matters.

Now, stepping into a room full of voices, you probably have an impulse to join the chorus immediately. Here’s a thought: try holding back; observe first.

The insight you gain from watching the others go first gives your words an edge.

What comes out of your mouth will resonate more deeply because it's informed.

Sharpening Your Observational Skills: A Personal Guide

Slow Down: Everything's super fast these days. Try hitting the pause button now and then. Look around you, soak it all in. You'll be surprised at what you've been missing.

Use All Your Senses: Life is a multisensory experience. Remember to smell the rain, feel the texture of an old book, listen to the inflection in someone's voice. It's about embracing the world in its entirety.

Study the Details: The smallest things can hold the greatest meanings. Pay attention to the nuances, the slight frowns, the hesitation before speaking. These details tell a story louder than words.

Write It Down: Get a notebook. Use it to write down what you see, hear, feel. It's not just about remembering things, but recognizing patterns in your life. It's about the repeats and the changes.

Watch and Listen: 70 to 93% of all communication is non verbal. There's a whole world of meaning in how someone stands, the look in their eyes, or the tone of their voice. Start paying attention to these. Then, you'll get what people are really saying, far beyond their words.

Doing all this doesn't just make you more observant. It connects you more deeply with life, with people, and yeah, with yourself too.

6. The Quiet Revolution ✊ 

The power of observation isn't just its strategic advantages in decision-making. It also adds depth to relationships.

It's about fostering a deeper connection with the world around us and with ourselves.

This quiet revolution is a call to embrace the subtleties of life, to find strength in silence.

I’ll leave you with this. If you want to join, the mission is simple:

Speak less, observe more.

Notice the world in all its detail.

Listen with intent.

Choose your words with purpose.

You may find that the quiet revolution leads you to way more opportunities than before.

Perhaps those opportunities were always there. You were just too busy and loud to notice them.

Remember— you're not withdrawing from the world; you're engaging with it on a deeper level.

Friend, welcome to the quiet revolution.

That's all for today, thank you for reading. ​

Strategizingly Yours,