On the Happier podcast a few weeks back Gretchen and Elizabeth had a discussion about aphorisms. It’s not a term I’m especially familiar with but it’s defined as a concise statement of a principle. Examples include statements such as actions speak louder than words, he who hesitates is lost, and don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes. This discussion got me thinking about phrases and expressions that I say a lot. Mine own personal aphorisms, if you will. Guess what? It’s Thursday so I came up with 3!
- Done is better than perfect. I started saying this when I learned how to sew. Seriously. You can rip out that seam over and over and try it get it perfect or you can accept that it’s done and just move on. It can be applied to so much more than sewing, too! Blog posts? Done is better than perfect. Dinner? Done is better than perfect. I’m looking at my to-do list right now and thinking that I could use this phrase for pretty much everything on there except payroll. Payroll needs to be done and perfect.
- It’s better to beg forgiveness than ask permission. This is one that a good friend said to me over 30 years ago and I took it to heart at that very moment. My attitude about it changed slightly when I became a mother and I always told Hannah this was a rule for grown ups only! But still. It’s a good philosophy for those times when you just need to . . . bend/ignore/push the rules a smidge. Becomes sometimes it’s easier to just make a decision and potentially have to apologize later than to do nothing in the moment.
- I’ll alert the media. This one comes from the movie Arthur starring Dudley Moore. Arthur turns to his butler Hobson and says, do you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to take a bath. And Hobson says, I’ll alert the media. It’s the most perfect, most sarcastic, most wonderful way of saying: I don’t care without actually saying I don’t care because that might be mean. I say it a lot when Dale announces something: I’m going to the garage, I’m going to take a shower, I’m going to bring in firewood, etc. I look at him deadpan and I say: I’ll alert the media. Usually he laughs. Emphasis on usually.
Do you have aphorisms that you use? It’s kind of fun to think about them so please tell me what yours are in the comments.
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