In Hasidic Tales, Rami Shapiro writes that the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidism, said that a person is born with a fixed number of words to speak in his/her lifetime. When that count is reached, the person dies. So here is the practice: The next time you are about to criticize someone, to engage in gossip, or to utter any negative and hurtful words, ask yourself: Are these words worth dying for?

Rami Shapiro, Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat in "Words Matter" by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat