Cinch

Cinch: (n) an extremely easy task

What are the factors?

I’m talking about the issues that go into making something work or drizzle away in failure.

I wish I could say it was all based upon the value of a good idea or merely the implementation of it.

Not so.

I can think of five things right off the bat that have to be crawled over to get to the finish line.

First, if you want something to be a cinch, it has to work out on paper. If it doesn’t, then you’re hoping for grace (if you’re spiritual) or a mutation (if you’re scientific.)

A bad start.

The second thing is resource. In other words, simply knowing what to get doesn’t get it. Can you locate what you need and once located, can you acquire it?

Third, luck. Many people do not believe in it, but there is a chaotic aspect to nature that cannot be denied. After all, the same thing we try today often doesn’t work tomorrow for no explicable reason.

How about nerves? Oh, yes–the football team was ready for the game, and then became unnerved. What causes it? When do we look at the challenge and visualize the victory, and when are our eyes affixed nervously on the adversary?

Of course, there is the fifth and final hurdle. It’s called performance.

Everyone reading this has had an occasion in their lives when everything was perfect except for one thing–and that single unit blew everything apart.

The reason most people spend their lives in lamentation is that they are burdened with the need–shall we say, expectation?–for something to be a cinch.

This writer will tell you, the only thing he has found to be a cinch–a guarantee–is that there will always be a surprise waiting for those who dare to brag about being prepared.

 

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Atrophy

Atrophy: (v) gradually decline in effectiveness or vigor due to underuse or neglect.dictionary with letter A

He requested to sing a song.

It was a tune he once intoned as a younger man when he was healthier and well-voiced. I was sitting at the piano and he eased his way to my side and asked me to play the selection for him.

I paused. In that short span of reflection, I was thinking about how embarrassed my friend would be when he realized that all the talents of his youth had taken a southerly route and atrophied.

It is a cruel reality: that which we ignore or fail to use simply decays and disappears without giving us notice.

Fearing that my friend, who was ailing and aging, would make a fool of himself, I tried to change the subject by playing a different song and moving things along. He became insistent, nearly incensed.

  • He wanted to sing the song.
  • He wanted to prove that he “still had the chops.”
  • He wanted everybody in the room to know that he was virile and alive.

There are three things that are immutably true. They are clichés, so people often either ridicule them or ignore them.

  1. If you don’t use it you lose it.
  2. The victory goes to the perseverant.
  3. If you want to get to Carnegie Hall–practice.

They seem almost silly by themselves, but when applied together, you realize that the most important thing in life is to never stop until you’re dead.

Atrophy will set in.

I stalled, but eventually everyone insisted I play the song so that my friend could perform.

As he began, his voice cracked, forewarning of disaster, and when he went up for the high note, there was a horrible squawk.

He felt foolish–it ruined his day.

Even though people told him it wasn’t that bad, and insisted he was brave for trying, I made note:

Don’t do anything in public that you aren’t able to perform in private.

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

Access

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Access: (n.) 1. means of approaching of entering a place 2. the right to use or benefit from 3. the right or opportunity to approach or see someone 4. the action or process of obtaining or retrieving information stored in a computer’s memory 5. the condition of being able to be reached or obtained.

Here we go again.

Over and over, we see the same stupid procedure utilized by seemingly intelligent men and women when confronted with the inadequacy of their performance. For some reason or another, people find it difficult to simply say, “I screwed up.”

Nearly every President throughout our history has suffered from some sort of scandal–not because error occurred, but mainly generated by the back-pedaling and lying initiated after the fact.

I am not positive at what age we begin to hide inside our shells and “turtle” our emotions and motivations away from the world around us. It certainly isn’t when we’re little kids. I remember when I was a child, I embarrassed my parents by walking out holding my own turd in my hand to explain to them that I had failed to make it all the way to the bathroom. Much to their dismay, this presentation was acted out in front of some clients they were trying to impress. It wasn’t that I was proud of my offering on that day–it was simply that I was naive enough to believe that it was essential to give my parents access to every part of my life–even misplaced bowel movements.

It must have been some time in my teens when it seemed more prudent to cover up my mistakes with lies and excuses, which I apparently succeeded in pulling off enough times that I thought I could pursue it as a lifestyle.

We can’t.

Although I agree that complete transparency might be optimistic, being the FIRST one to admit your failures is an advantage that God grants only to the wisest confessors. Once you are found out by strangers, you are at the mercy of their discretion. That’s frightening.

What would I tell the President if I were his advisor? Find out immediately where you had ANY tie-in with these existing difficulties–or KNEW anyone who had a link–and release the information as quickly as possible.

Certainly your enemies will have a heyday over the stupidity–but not as much as they will over the notorious disguise of the facts.

I love to write a daily blog because it gives me the chance to access the truth in my soul and give you access to it, before you independently discover what a dim-witted idiot I can be from time to time.

Yes, I will be so bold as to tell you that the only way to look smart in this world is to point out when you’re stupid. If you wait for the jury to come in, you will never be able to negotiate a plea bargain, and often, each one of us is careless enough that we must throw ourselves on the mercy of the court.

Ability

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Ability: n. 1. the capacity to do something 2. talent that enables someone to achieve a great deal: a man of exceptional ability.

Let me see if I’ve got this straight. Sometimes we think certain words mean the same thing, but if you look really carefully, you see that they don’t. So I have it figured this way: talent is what I think I can do, and ability is your opinion of my effort after I’ve completed it.

I know I’m always nervous when I hear somebody brag about their talent. I alway silently want to tell them to be quiet; play it cool. Don’t be such a blowhard. Because each one of us human beings has two different modes in which we perceive the performance or presentation of others. If we think they’re conceited, we put on our “mean” mind and get very, very picky. If we believe they are leading with a humble spirit, we are much more relaxed and willing to be forgiving.

So even though many people feel they have talent, their egomaniacal approach towards self-promotion makes the world around them judge their talent and pronounce a very low grade on their ability.

So maybe we don’t know how good we are until other people tell us the value of what we’ve shared or produced. Of course, we don’t like that. We are so preoccupied with our self-image that we would like to control all of the aspects of our offering to the world, including deciding for them what they’re going to think about it.

But it just ain’t so, Joe.

That’s why I think it’s better to play down your talent and come strong with your gift, so when people judge your ability, they will be much more merciful and generous. If you happen to be excellent on top of that, be prepared to be successful.

Talent is what I think I can do, and ability is the grade card you give me at the end of my test.