Everything Is Easy: 3 maxims for the office, plus 7 more to tuck in your back pocket.
Sometimes it’s useful to keep a handful of pithy sayings in the billfold of your mind. You never know when they might come in handy. Here are a three that I’ve repeated more than a few times over the years, primarily because they are a little less common than “it is what it is” (which I do use a bit frequently, because it is what it is.)
Everything is easy for the one who doesn’t have to do it.
This one is readily available for any number of situations, especially in the world of work. People often give advice to others and wonder why it isn’t immediately jumped on and appreciated. Well, that’s because everything is easy for the one who doesn’t have to do it. Whether it’s meeting deadlines, managing multiple projects, overcoming addictions, or saving for retirement, everything’s easy for the one who doesn’t have to do it. This doesn’t mean we can’t ever give advice, but we ought be sensitive when we’re dishing it out. As Eleanor Roosevelt put it, “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.”
The butler who folds his hands spills no tea.
This one is fun because it takes a moment to process. In a world where everyone is playing it safe, the safest place of all is to do nothing. Too often bosses generally do not like mistakes, though generally they readily admit that mistakes come with the territory when you’re attempting to accomplish great things. A batter who fails to get on base six of ten times is considered great. I used to have a Mario Andretti quote on my signature block that read, “If everything is under control, you’re not going fast enough.” Pushing boundaries involves risk. If you’ve never spun out, you really don’t know how fast you can go.
“Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”
My mother frequently recited this and I know why. She has a Scots heritage and this statement’s origin is from one of the novels of Sir Walter Scott. With a handful of words it says plenty. Life is complicated enough without trying to cover our tracks and be deceptive. Sooner or later, it’s going to get you. How many times we read stories about people caught embezzling or evading paying taxes, among other things.
If you need to arm yourself with new quip material, you will discover that in most workplaces you will have ample opportunity to use the three above.
There are plenty of websites devoted to collecting these kinds of pearls. Here are a few more from a website called Quips, Quotes and Pithy Sayings. These are more for the fun of it.
Experience enables you to recognize a mistake every time you repeat it.
To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
Profanity is the effort of a feeble mind to express itself forcefully.
America is one of the few places you can say what you speak without thinking.
Unless you have never been tempted, don’t pass judgment on someone who has yielded.
Don’t mistake activity for achievement.
Or you can simply quote various lines from Dylan, like I do.
“Meantime life goes on all around you.”
Have a great one. Maybe I’ll see you on the street.
Originally published at pioneerproductions.blogspot.com
Illustration at the top by Ed Newman.