Making The Cut(s) For Success



Copyright 2018 Paul Edgewater All Rights Reserved

Succeeding cuts many ways!

Before he retired, my father was a Linguistics Professor and a Latin teacher. As an inquisitive child, I peppered him with linguistic questions, and he taught me to look at the roots of words when l studied my grammar. Unlike my father, I’m no linguist, so the following isn’t etymologically accurate, but when it comes to inspiration, it’s spot on! English, while a Germanic language, has a lot of Latin influences. For instance, there are a lot of words with the root “cis” (very loosely: Latin, meaning “cut”). In addition to describing myriad acts with regard to cutting (see below), I have found these words to be extremely useful in illustrating the steps I believe are necessary for us to succeed in life. Do we all ‘make the cut?’ Read on.
Incisive: (from medieval Latin incisivus, from Latin incidere ‘cut into’ [see incise]).
To get to where we’d like to be from where we are now, we first need to be incisive. We must be remarkably clear and direct, keen, acute, and sharp (all my puns are intentional). We have to know what we want, and we have to state our goals clearly and directly. There is no time to be nebulous and vacillate. The reason a bulls-eye is a bright red circle with a very defined outline is so that we have no doubt where to hit the target. Our goals should be the same way. Napoleon Hill called it “definiteness of purpose.” For instance, if we want a promotion at work, the goal should be the exact position desired, e.g.,* “branch manager” or “CEO,” not a wishy-washy statement like “I want to move up.” If we want to have more money, we need to have a number to shoot for, e.g., “$25,000,000” not “I want to be rich.” Be very specific with all goals. This takes soul searching and incisiveness.
Incision: (from Latin: to cut in, or an opening or slit).
We now need to dig deep into our intention. After we have established our specific goal, we need to ascertain what obstacles there may be between where we are now and where we would like to be. Sometimes this can be in the form of external forces or conditions. But if we are honest with ourselves, more often than not, it’s something inside of us. This is where we need to make a psychological incision. We need to cut into our mindset to expose our challenges and strengths to the daylight. After we make this psychological incision, we know what we bring to the table. Be incisive.
Excise: (from Latin: excis- ‘cut out,’ from the verb excidere, from ex- ‘out of’ + caedere ‘to cut,’ e.g.*, tissue, bone or tumor from a body; to completely remove).
At this point, if we see that we have challenges or other roadblocks, we must excise them. Much like a surgeon removing a tumor, we too need to make excisions to rid ourselves of mental plunder. These may be in the form of negative attitudes, a lack of confidence, etc. We need to cut these out of the equation. These excisions can also be applied to bad habits and proclivities. If the reader takes just one thing away from reading this post, it is this: on the road to success, it is just as important not to do some things as it is to do other things. If we are engaged in destructive behavior or wasting our time, we have to stop that before we can take constructive action and use our time productively. We are all given just 24 hours in a day. We get to choose how to spend those, and with whom we spend them. If we desire success, we need to make sure we leverage our 24 hours with discretion; excise negativity and engage in positivity.
Decision: (from Latin: to cut away from, or a resolution, conclusion, commitment, resolve, determination, choice).
It is now when we make a decision. See above; to do one thing, we must not do another. We have to decide which path we are going to take. Tony Robbins reminds us that it is in our moments of decision, that we shape our destiny. Think of the fork in the road; we can only take one path at a time. Let’s make sure we choose the one that leads us toward our goals because we’re going to have to live with our decisions for the rest of our lives.
Since we are discussing Latin, it’s apropos to end with this quote from Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar. In act 3, scene 2, 181–186, Marc Antony calls Brutus’ stabbing of Caesar “…the most unkindest cut of all.” But when it comes to our personal development, the cuts we covered above are indeed the kindest cuts of all because, without them, we may never realize the success that can be ours.
*More Latin: “e.g.” stands for exempli gratia, ‘for the sake of example.’

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Copy, Creative, Themes & Tactics That Need To Go Away PART VIII

“…Reason #47…” © Paul Edgewater All Rights Reserved

I think I wanted to punch a hole in a wall the very first time I saw this on television. It was about 10 years ago and it was at the very beginning of an ad campaign (a fictitious name will be used to protect the identity of the offending company). The very first spot of the campaign this particular company aired was;

“Reason #47 why you should use Wilson Widgets…”

Here’s the problem: There weren’t 46 reasons cited before reason #47. They just started with reason #47. Let me dissect why this happens and why you may want to avoid buying products and services from companies that do this. This ploy targets two types of people; dummies and bigger dummies. The dummies think they must have missed the first 46 spots and they need to get on board—now. They think to themselves:

“Boy, if they’re on their 47th spot about this product/service, it must be great! Honey, let’s go buy some before it’s too late.”

The even bigger dummies think:

“How sardonically funny and clever; “reason #47”. I’m sure there are at least 46 other reasons to buy this product/service, but their marketing folks decided which reasons to air first and it just happened to start with reason #47. Kind of like Star Wars didn’t start with episode one. I’m sure time was tight and they couldn’t reshoot this spot and say it was reason #1. They just needed to get it out on the airwaves—now.” 

Who thinks this is cool? Who falls for this? Answer to both questions: No one reading this book does.

Thank you for your time!

Check back soon for part VIX!