One Thing & Another

Word for the Wise

Popinjay (POP-in-jay) – a strutting, supercilious person. Example from Ernest Hemingway: “If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an ice-berg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water. A writer who omits things because he does not know them only makes hollow places in his writing. A writer who appreciates the seriousness of writing so little that he is anxious to make people see he is formally educated, cultured or well-bred is merely a popinjay. And this too remember; a serious writer is not to be confounded with a solemn writer. A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl.”

 Did You Know… ?

In ancient Rome, men in court swore by their testicles. (The word for “testify” comes from the Latin word for “testicle.”)


From My “Work-in-Progress” Basket

Principles of Wealth: #8 of 61

The desire to work less is not a vice but a fundamental aspect of emotional intelligence. When combined with commitment, persistence, and common sense, it creates economic efficiency.

I was taught that hard work was laudable and laziness was deplorable. These notions still linger as truths subconsciously, in my emotional intelligence. But some years ago, I noticed that a major motivation in working my way up any organization I joined was the desire to do less of the hard and tedious work and more of what I imagined would be easier and more fun.

From one perspective, you could say that my motivation was laziness (if your definition of laziness is not wanting to work). But when I realized that I was perfectly happy to work 24/7 on projects that inspired me, I decided that I should stop chastising myself for not wanting to make my bed in the morning or spend hours setting up meetings and appointments or doing any task that was innately uninteresting – i.e., that felt like “work.”

I realized that this impulse was a form of intelligence. It is the desire to find more efficient ways of accomplishing a given task. This impulse is an important part of the desire to invent new and better gadgets, to create more efficient work protocols, and to delegate work as you make your way up the power and authority chain.

I now separate the desire to do less of the hard or boring work with the desire to do nothing at all. The first I call the efficiency impulse. The second I call laziness – simple, inexcusable, and unforgivable laziness.

I encourage my proteges to indulge themselves in the former and rid themselves of the latter. I do the same every time I am faced with something I don’t want to do. I ask: “Is this the efficiency impulse I’m feeling or am I just plain lazy?”

Something to Think About

In 1950, there were scarcely 100,000 people in prison. Now, there are nearly 2.5 million.

Look at This…


I don’t know who this kid is but she is wise way beyond her age.

She hates the motivational messages that say be the best and she is write. There is, as she says, always someone prettier, smarter, more talented and simply better than you.

Trying to be the best at anything is a fools game.

She says the goal is to be happy and that is true although that needs a lot of unpeeling—which I will do in future messages. But I tell you this: this kid is smart. If I had one tenth the wisdom she has at thirteen….oh, well….that’s exactly what she’s talking about.