10 of Our Culture’s Most Cherished Clichés – and Why They’re Total Lies

1. 80% of life isn’t showing up – it’s FOLLOWING THROUGH. That you show up is eclipsed by the importance of HOW you show up. People respond to the sum total of what you present to them. Positively, negatively, or not at all. It all depends on how you show up.

The problem is, people often shrink from showing UP because they’re terrified of being accused of showing OFF. This doesn’t have to be the case. Don’t shrink from doing so for fear of being accused of showing off. Sculpt yourself into the person you want to present to others. How do you show up?

2. A friend in need is a chance to DO A DEED. Your friends want you to call on them. Just like you want your friends to call on you.

That’s what friends are for. To have the opportunity to be a friend. From whom do you need to make a withdrawal?

3. A mind is a terrible thing to CHASE. If you want answers, listen to your body. It will never lie to you. Truth is the only language it knows.

Your mind, on the other hand, speaks with a forked tongue. And it will trick you into believing that it knows what it’s talking about. It doesn’t. How accurate is your personal guidance system?

4. A penny saved is an opportunity BURNED. You can approach situations in one of two ways. First, with a poverty mentality, i.e., “Great. How much is this going to cost me?”

Or, with an abundance mentality, i.e., “Cool! If I had this, what else would become possible?” Remember: If you’re bending over dollars to pick up dimes, you might pull a hammy. Which mentality are you operating from?

5. All the world’s a PAGE. The question is whether or not you write anything worthwhile on it. Now, if you’re not sure whether or not your writing is worthwhile, here’s the acid test.

Ask these two questions of everything you compose: “What do I risk in writing this material?” and “On a scale of 1-10, how much is this material drenched in my own blood?” What did you write today?

6. Bark up the wrong tree. Make mistakes. Get lost. Go in the wrong direction. It’s the best way to figure out what you’re NOT looking for.

Deciding what you want by the process of elimination is less threatening and intimidating. Plus it’s fun. Are you willing to define the whitespace so you can develop the blackspace?

7. Better late than CLEVER. GOD no. Not that. Anything’s better than clever. In fact, if more than three people tell you that something you’ve done is clever, throw it out. Start over.

Clever is not a compliment. Clever means “superficially skillful.” Clever is a diplomatic way of saying, “You’re a smart ass.” Be insulted or be broke. Are you clever or smart?

8. Curiosity might have killed the cat – but it also made me a lot of MONEY. First of all, I hate cats. They make me nervous and make me sneeze. You can kill as many of them as you want. Secondly, show me a person who isn’t curious, and I’ll show you a mindless, lifeless waste of a human being whose soul never grows.

Thirdly, history proves (time and time again) that the most successful people in the history of planet were the ones who asked dangerous questions despite overwhelming efforts to silence their enthusiasm and deflect their curiosity. You need to be one of those people. You need to give yourself permission to be curious in EVERY domain of your life.

Ask questions. Challenge everything. Mind other people’s business. Be nosy. Get yourself involved. Pull back curtains every day. Expose truth whenever possible. You’re doing yourself (and the world) a great service. Remember: The consequence of curiosity is the commencement of creativity. Are you a giant question mark?

9. Don’t build a better mousetrap – build a better YOU. First of all, who the hell still uses mousetraps? What is this, 1946? Call an exterminator and get on with your life. Secondly, mousetraps are overrated.

YOU are the only product that ever matters. That’s what people are buying anyway. What have you done, specifically – in the last 24 hours – to make yourself better?

10. Don’t go the extra mile – go the extra MARATHON. You’ve been told to go the extra mile for decades. Unfortunately, the secret is out. Now everyone goes the extra mile. Back in the day, the extra mile was “rarely crowded.” Remember that one? Well, now the extra mile it looks like Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

The extra mile is what’s universally expected. My suggestion is to go the extra marathon. The full 26.2. Then you’ll (for sure) be the last man standing. How much service stamina do you have?

What cliché do you think is a total lie?

Share it here!

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

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