Friday, May 23, 2008


Just noticed a paradox that was tripping me up.

Books and articles about writing always say "Don't use the passive tense"! Use action verbs!

Action! Do things! It's all about Getting Things Done and if you aren't GTD then you aren't GTD'ing enough! And so you beat your nose against the grindstone and suck it up and try harder and throw hours at it, HOO-rah.

But this is wrong. I'm not talking about the work-life balance or anything right now. I am talking about this whole approach is totally wrong. I am skilled but limited. How can I do more than I can do? The truth is the opposite of action. I can make you tools and design you processes and I should use words no more active than "Make it so" and actions no more creative than "review".

(Sorry. There's probably a book I should read somewhere, instead of just requiring life to repeatedly bonk me on the head to teach me things : )


Chris Chowdhury said...

For some reason, I keep hearing Devo music...

(You hit the nail on the head! Check out the blog for more likeminded business ideas.)

Qaro said...

Just when I'm trying to convince myself, you had to go and make it funny. Thanks! : )

I can't wait to check out the website! I see they have good commentors.

Sue said...

"Make it so" is one of my husband's favorite "Picardisms." (Along with "engage").

We do not act alone, we are enmeshed with others; often we can "do" no more than advise, recommend in advance, and reflect and comment at the end. It all has to do with "the complex and perspectival nature of human situatedness" (another favorite of my husbands, from some unintelligible post-modernist essay).

Qaro said...

Wasn't Star Trek: The Next Generator a great show!

Great comment. I will ponder on this too. Really good points. (Your husband sounds as cool as you are.)