Friday, June 28, 2013

Dead as a Doornail


                                     Dead as a Doornail

“Dead as a doornail” said the guy at the NAPA store the other day when checking my car’s battery.  And since the car wouldn’t start, I figured he was right.  But even as I nodded my head knowingly, I was wondering: “what’s a doornail”?

Best answer found on the Internet:  A long time ago, especially on farms, doors were made by nailing planks together. Over years of continual slamming and banging shut, the door nails would eventually loosen and fall out. When they hit the ground, instead of "ringing" like a new nail would, they would simply make a "tink" sound, i.e. they were dead. In a sense, the door nail is dead: it has no ring, it has no "life"; similarly a person or thing that is dead as a doornail, is utterly and completely dead -- either literally or figuratively.

We often use phrases like this as if they were full of real-life meaning.  In fact, our lives are filled with lots of these folkloric expressions…. such as: blind as a bad, clean as a whistle, easy as falling off a log, finer than frog hair, guilty as sin (as opposed to good as gold), happy as a lark, light as a feather, mad as a hatter, naked as a jaybird, out like a light, poor as a church mouse, quick as a flash, right as rain, sick as a dog, thick as thieves, and pleased as punch.  These and literally hundreds more like them have been handed down from grandparents to grandchildren and will continue to be used whether we understand what they really mean or not.

And while it’s often comfortable to use phrases like these, we should remember that it’s important to say what we mean and then mean what we say.  Friends, colleagues, customers and casual acquaintances will be much better informed and served by plain and straight-forward speaking.  So strive for clarity in your speech and actions today, and see if that works like a charm.

My message this week is about getting personally involved in the things you do to create and ensure the best results:

“Legacy is not what's left tomorrow when you're gone. It's what you give, create, impact and contribute today while you're here that then happens to live on.” Rasheed Ogunlaru

Life is about living every experience to the fullest.  That means you have to participate fully in everything you do and put your best efforts into making all of those things the best they can be.  Giving, creating, impacting and contributing today while you’re here is the same as “being in the moment”.   That means focusing all your energy and enthusiasm on what you’re doing while you’re doing it, explaining what you’re doing and why it’s important to those it affects or touches, and following up appropriately to get the biggest and best impact. That’s how to create the best legacy, now while you’re still here; do that and you’ll be remembered for that work long after you’re gone. So get involved today in order to create something that will live on long after tomorrow!

Stay well!

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