An etymologically exponential strategy to consider

Today’s post has been contributed by Ronnlynn Bartosh.

This is an excerpt from one of her daughter’s favourite TV shows.

“Grey’s Anatomy” (2005) {If Tomorrow Never Comes (#1.6)}

Dr. Meredith Grey: [voiceover] A couple hundred years ago Benjamin Franklin shared with the world the secret of his success. Never leave that ’til tomorrow, which you can do today. This is the man who discovered electricity; you’d think we’d pay more attention to what he had to say. I don’t know why we put things off, but if I had to guess it has a lot to do with fear. Fear of failure, fear of pain, fear of rejection. Sometimes the fear is just of making a decision. Because… What if you’re wrong? What if you make a mistake you can’t undo? Whatever it is we’re afraid of, one thing holds true: That by the time the pain of not doing the thing gets worse than the fear of doing it, it can feel like we’re carrying around a giant tumor. And you thought I was speaking metaphorically… ‘The early bird catches the worm.’ ‘A stitch in time saves nine.’ ‘He who hesitates is lost.’ We can’t pretend we haven’t been told. We’ve all heard the proverbs, heard the philosophers, heard our grandparents warning us about wasted time; heard the damn poets urging us to seize the day. Still, sometimes we have to see for ourselves. We have to make our own mistakes. We have to learn our own lessons. We have to sweep today’s possibility under tomorrows run until we can’t anymore. Until we finally understand for ourselves what Benjamin Franklin meant. That knowing is better than wondering. That waking is better than sleeping. And that even the biggest failure, even the worst most intractable mistake, beats the hell out of not trying.

These sayings that we use in our everyday speech have all started somewhere – many of them as warnings or basic common sense. Very few of us know where these sayings have originated from and yet we use them as an intrinsic part of everyday life.

Many years ago in a village in England there was a young man who was considered ‘not very bright’. He was very shy. He would not speak, even when spoken to. In fact many people believed he couldn’t speak. He would spend his time watching people through their windows. But he would only peep from the side, he did not want to be seen or spoken to. Visitors to the village were told about Tom – he just likes to watch, but you must not try to talk to him. People from other villages heard about Tom. As word spread, Tom became famous.

What proof do we have of Tom’s fame?

As the years passed Tom became known in the village (and elsewhere) as ‘Peeping Tom’.

Although many of us do not know the story behind his name, it has become an integral part of our language and culture. The idea has grown and taken a life and meaning of its own.

Think of some of the sayings you use regularly yourself.

Write down three of the sayings you use that could be applied to your current state.

Now write down three sayings that convey where you want to be.

Using an A4 piece of paper in landscape mode, draw a line from the bottom left corner to the top right corner. Write the three sayings about your current situation along the bottom section of this line. Now write the three sayings about where you want to be along the upper section of this line. This line represents your personal journey you must undertake and you have already taken the first step. Put the paper on the wall above your desk. Now every time you sit at your desk you will see where you have been and re-establish where you are along that line as you journey towards your goal.

Now, consider what you have just achieved. You have taken action. You have taken one more step towards adjusting your mindset for success. Now it is time to achieve one step from your personal next best steps list.

Just start with one small idea and let it roll. As it rolls it will gather other ideas and escalate in the same way as a snowball rolling downhill. All it takes is the one little action of letting go of that snowball.

Utilising the skills learned from the Exponential Mindset™ strategies I’ve been talking about on this blog and elsewhere, let go of your snowball of an idea and let it roll down the hill so it can exponentially escalate as it rolls.

In the meantime, it is time for you to let go of that next snowballing idea and move…

Onward and upward!


Did you know that Thomas E. Crapper invented the ‘modern/flushing’ toilet?

Did you also know that according to Wikipedia, the claim that the brassiere was invented by a man named Otto Titzling (phonetically tit-sling) who lost a lawsuit with Phillip de Brassiere (fill up de’ brassiere) is an urban legend that originated with the 1971 book Bust-Up: The Uplifting Tale of Otto Titzling and the Development of the Bra and was propagated in a song from the movie Beaches.

So what’s exponential about today’s post?

Hmmm… Good question.

Every industry has particular and specific words it uses. if you know their origins, you can impress your prospects and suspects by TELLING them what you know.

For example, when I was in the Digital Reprographic Industry, I researched the historical roots of printing, reproduction, duplication, quick printing and reprography. The etymology of the word and it’s philology was significant as it reflected and mirrored the evolution and REVOLUTION of the industry. It comprised an entire chapter of my MBA thesis which was published as a book called “The Dynamics of Technological Change on the North American Reprographic Industry: A Synthesis of an Industry in Transition”. [Sexy title eh? BTW, it will be re-launched as soon as I complete the introduction to the 3rd edition.]

My understanding was based on 100 years of research, facilitated by the industry’s 3 top associations and trade organisations. It became the single most in-depth analysis of the industry published. I became the industry’s pre-eminent expert and as such was able to consult and sell to dozens of companies that otherwise would never have considered my products and services.

That is the topic of another post, for another day.

For now, your task is to learn more about the origin of the words that you and your industry use on a daily, on-going basis. Ask around and you’ll be amazed at the Urban Legends that exist – they too are fun and valuable to know.

Have fun with this.

The exponential DEPLOYMENT of this strategy is the creation of a PDF or YouTube video that explains this stuff in a fun and engaging manner. If you are creative, you can create a MindMap.

If you do create any of these, I would be happy to post it on this blog for all to see!

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