Ask Yourself These 3 Ancient Questions Before You Say Anything

As the Sufi poet Rumi knew well, healing the world starts with thinking before you speak.

woman thinking before she speaks Roman Samborskyi / Shutterstock

"Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates. At the first gate, ask yourself, “Is it true?” At the second gate ask, “Is it necessary?” At the third gate ask, “Is it kind?” — Rumi

The great Sufi poet, Rumi, believed that before we speak, our words should pass through three gates.

1. Is it true?

2. Is it necessary?

3. Is it kind?”

How many things we say each day could pass this litmus test? Humans speak on average roughly 16,000 words a day. After employing Rumi’s test, how many do you think we would speak? This is an important question that I ponder quite frequently.


RELATED: Why You Need To Think About Your Words Before You Say Them

We create more karma with our mouths than even our actions. Our words create a cosmic vibration that can permeate every corner of the world and therefore it is of utmost importance that we are especially mindful of what we say and how we say it.


The words we speak aloud soon become a physical reality in our daily lives and will manifest into physical form in the future.

I remember a time when I didn’t know this; in my younger years, I wouldn’t have believed it had anyone mentioned this to me. Through the years I have come to understand that words have exponential power; intentions have even more power; and belief is the most powerful of all.

Words activate our innermost intentions and belief powers those words and intentions to create our very existence (more on this later). And much to many people’s dismay and chagrin, planetary alignment has an activating power to coordinate our intentions into existence.

What does this mean? There truly are times when it is more fertile to start new projects or to simply send healing energy to the world to create a more loving and kinder world.


How and where the planets are aligned affects the energy here on Earth.

People will discount this, but the moon affects the tides of the oceans, therefore it is nearly impossible that the moon doesn’t affect the tides within our beings. We are connected to the greater Cosmos and the greater Cosmos are connected to us.

The moment we recognize the interconnectivity of all things in every moment, we can take steps to create our greatest lives. When we recognize the unity in all things, we begin to see that a word or action spoken against someone is a word or action spoken against ourselves.

RELATED: 12 Things You Need To Say To Your Partner Way More Often


Grace that is offered to another is grace offered to ourselves.

This leads me back to Rumi and the three gates.

  • At the first gate, ask yourself, “Is it true?”
  • At the second gate ask, “Is it necessary?”
  • At the third gate ask, “Is it kind?”

If our words pass through these gates, we can be assured that we are aligned with our Highest Self. If our words pass through this simple test, we will be an inspiration to everyone we encounter. If our words meet these criteria, we can forever positively alter every person we encounter.

We need only be the gatekeepers of the words we speak, allowing only the most loving and kindest of our words to be heard worldwide after passing through these three important gates.


This is how we heal the world.

This is how we become the change we so long to see. When we elevate those around us with the things we say, we have the capacity, through the power of our words, to change the lives of those we interact with. Our words have power. Our belief in those words can activate a change in this world that would make Rumi proud.

I say to myself each day, “Be the gatekeeper of your words.”


RELATED: How I Use Hurtful Words As Fuel To Become A Better Person

David Ahearn is the author of the book "Happy Accidents: The Transformative Power of 'Yes, and' at Work and in Life." He teaches organizations the secrets of 'Yes And', which helps improve group performance and is a sought-after speaker and host for corporate functions who lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.