Where did the term, rule of thumb come from? Why not just call it a rule? Or thumb to live by is kinda catchy. Here’s a thumb to live by – When traveling with buddies, pick the lesser of two eeeeechs. Another? The best short cuts take the long way around. Finally. Know when to quit.
1st Thumb to live by: Pick the lesser of two eeeeechs. Some people do their best thinking in the shower. Recently, the notable cerebral gymnastics happened after the shower. In fairness to our host, he did say, “Bring your own towel since none were at the ranch.” Correction, there was one towel. A luxurious, plush, bathroom hand towel. Perfect for an Oompa Loompa.
Traveling to a south Texas for a guy’s trip, none of us remembered our “bring a towel” suggestion. Combine that with the Darwinian, competitive nature of dudes relative to drying off with a used towel – you’ve got a formula for eeeeech.
With the shower turned off, the mind kicked on. “Okay, this used towel’s the size of a Chili’s menu. Where exactly has it been? Chances are most of said towellette’s real estate visited nether regions of the previous guy… eeeeech. Drip dry? Sure. Shake a leg. Then the other. Use hand to squeegee water back into tub. Not enough. How about - college hazing romp through the ranch house to do the ol’ commando air dry? No. Too weird. Bingo. Do T-shirt towel-off. Better to mitigate the effects of a shower with your own dirty T-shirt than a used Willy Wonka staff lounge towel.”
2nd Thumb: The best short cuts take the long way around. Figuring out what it takes to win is a constant pursuit for anyone chasing higher ground. The short cut is; you get better results with more up-front effort.
David Sedaris’ brain doesn’t work like normal humans. His writing is offbeat and clever. He can morph any situation into a twist on rational thought. An interesting tidbit surfaced from Sedaris’ Chipmunk Seeks Squirrel promotional interview. For this latest book, he wrote 25 stories then took the very best 10.
Flashback to a comment in the Music World Entertainment studios where Beyoncé recorded her music. COO John Cawley said she recorded 32 songs to come up with the 12 best selections.
From these two examples you can interpret a 2.5 to 1 formula for excellence. If you’re single, you need to date at least three people to come up with one keeper. (Save time. Date all three at once.) Have kids? Odds are one will delight while the other couple require unconditional love. If you’re hiring a contractor, interview two and a half (which one the half is will be abundantly obvious). If you’re writing a proposal, take at least two or three shots at it and pick the best one. (Your competition will only write one.)
Opposing Digit 2.5: Know when to quit.