I was doing some trimming work with my bonsai collection the other day and came up with this question: Did you ever notice that saws are different yet they have the same purpose – to cut through? I had to get used to Japanese saws that are used in bonsai work because they cut mostly on the pull stroke where American saws cut on push and pull. Again, they both cut through. This got me to thinking about old saws because they still must be quite effective or they wouldn’t stand the test of time.
An old saw is a maxim, adage, proverb, or anything else that cuts through in just a few words. You’re familiar with them:
“Talk doesn’t cook rice.” (my personal favorite)
I found one of them creeping into my emails over the past couple of days. It’s one I have heard but never used until a few days ago.
Some people abuse their power of discretion and it becomes a weapon that causes self inflicted wounds. This is a way of saying that many people dismiss something out of hand because they judge it in their head.
I agree that if someone told you that parrot saliva was the cure for arthritis, you probably would be justified to raise an eyebrow. But if there was a long, documented history of people getting results with this method, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t investigate further, especially if you have arthritis.
So let’s pretend that you saw an ad for a product in Parade Magazine and then hobbled down to GNC and bought the product called “Pollyspittle” because you were curious. You took it home and then you chose not to use it. It seems counter-intuitive, but the reality is lots of people do that. It’s the next piece of behavior that is mind boggling and counterproductive.
You hop on your computer and dash off a nasty-gram to the manufacturer saying, “This stuff couldn’t possibly work,” and add how disappointed you are. What’s wrong with this photograph? You judged it in your head.
No one’s claiming that you are not entitled to an opinion. We all have them. But when you put the onus on someone else because your untested belief won’t allow you to take the recommended action, whose problem is that?
This type of head judging has no bearing on IQ. You could be Mensa material or dumber than a stump and still be guilty of this practice.
So let’s use the old saws listed above and see if we can fashion some suggestions to prevent you from engaging in this practice.
(WATCHED POT) Know that most change takes patience. The quick fix is usually temporary.
(PENNY SAVED) Don’t buy the cake mix if you expect yours to look like the one on the box without following the recipe.
(COOK RICE) If you could talk yourself into results, they would have already happened.
(PUDDING) The proof is in the action, not what you think of the action.
Here is something that happens every day. A manufacturer of a home gym product gets a letter like this from a recent customer:
“Dear Mr. Manufacturer:
Your product is worthless. How can you advertise this crap on TV? How can you sleep at night knowing as I do that this gizmo can never produce the results you tout in your ads? I’m going to write to the Better Business Bureau and tell all of my friends what a sleezebag you are.
Disgruntled in DesMoines”
The package arrives back at the manufacturer – unopened.
When you stay inside your head, you will never learn anything new. Open yourself to taking some action and then your opinion will contain weight.
All the best,
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