Are You Barely Passing With Your Business Philosophy?

Here’s the thing: There were no right answers.

Philosophy isn’t something you get right or wrong. There’s no right answer – the textbooks are just there to make you think and learn how to question, explore and investigate life, situations, ethics, and morals so that you can come up with fairly rational arguments about what you believe is the right answer.

The right answers are yours and yours alone.

But I didn’t know that. I was doing what I thought was expected of me – following “the rules”. I thought that if I followed them perfectly, I’d get high marks. I’d succeed.

Written by James

I hated philosophy class in university. Absolutely couldn’t stand it. I read the textbooks and documents several times, listened to the audio files over and over again and wrote papers that should have pinned down the right answer perfectly.

And each time the grades for my papers came back, my face fell. They always hovered somewhere between 60 and 70%. Never higher.

So I worked harder. Read more. Listened longer. Wrote better. And still the grades came back in the dreaded range.

I didn’t understand it. It was frustrating. I was pulling high marks in other courses, so why not this one? I was working hard, but it didn’t seem to be enough.

And how much more work would it take to nail this class? Why wasn’t I acing this one? What did my professors want? Why couldn’t I find the right answers to get 90s instead of 60s? Leer más “Are You Barely Passing With Your Business Philosophy?”

How to use clichés

Image representing Wikipedia as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

I love this definition from Wikipedia:

In printing, a cliché was a printing plate cast from movable type. This is also called a stereotype. When letters were set one at a time, it made sense to cast a phrase used repeatedly as a single slug of metal. “Cliché” came to mean such a ready-made phrase. The French word “cliché” comes from the sound made when the matrix is dropped into molten metal to make a printing plate.

To save time and money, then, printers took common phrases and re-used the type.

Along the way, they trained us to understand the image, the analogy, the story. Hear it often enough and you remember it. That training has a useful purpose. Now, you can say ‘Festivus’ or ‘There is no I in team…” or “that took real courage” when describing a golf shot, and we immediately get it. Monty Python took a cliché about the Spanish Inquisition and made it funny by making it real. The comfy chair!

The effective way to use a cliché is to point to it and then do precisely the opposite. Juxtapose the cliché with the unexpected truth of what you have to offer. Apple does this all the time. They point out the cliché of a laptop or a desktop or an MP3 player and then they turn it upside down. Richard Branson takes the expected boredom of a CEO and turns it upside down by doing things you don’t expect.

I often use the Encyclopedia of Clichés to find clichés that then inspire opposites. It’s a secret weapon and it’s all yours now. Have fun.


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