Word Origin Comics: How to Succeed at Failure Without Even Trying

“The difference between success and failure is one more time.”

― Ken Poirot

“The eternal struggle between failure and fortune is a fight not between mortal enemies but sparring partners. So fortune is improved by failure, and the reverse is also true.”

― Agona Apell, The Success Genome Unravelled: Turning Men from Rot to Rock

“Failing is great! Isn’t it? I mean, it sets you free and, after all, failures are the pillars of success. So, you must fail!”

― Abhishek Ratna, No Parking. No Halt. Success Non Stop!

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Fishing in Troubled Waters

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Casting your rod fruitlessly? Not getting a bite where the majority has congregated—in the placid, more easily accessible locales? Try fishing in troubled waters instead. It’s not without risk however. Doing so questions your motives and your judgment, by “looking for trouble” or “putting yourself into a bad or confused situation.” There are also the consequences. A pretty kettle of fish, they say describing a state of confusion or disorderliness ensuing from an ill-thought out venture. It needn’t be that way. A pretty “kettle” or a kiddle once referred to “a net placed in a river to catch fish.” Long before becoming a sardonic remark, a pretty kettle of fish simply described freshly caught salmon served at a riverside picnic (early 1700s). It also offers sufficient incentive to occasionally fish in troubled waters. The phrase entered the language around 1568 from the belief that fish bite more readily in rough waters. As in life itself, though things are turbulent on the surface, by going more deeply into the situation you might well end up with a substantial catch. You might even go home with a kettle of fish—one that is really pretty.

Word Origin Comics: Get Move On People! You Don’t Want to Be Left Behind… or Do You?

Life passing you by? Well…?

In truth I suspect that merely slowing down is not a very satisfying answer. What I need has less to do with my pace of life than my peace of life. At any speed, I crave a deep and lasting inner peace. And if it’s solace I’m after, I don’t need to pace myself like a turtle, change jobs or set up house on a quiet island. It is usually frenetic living, not high energy, that robs my peace of mind. — Steve Goodier

Never look back. The past is done. The future is a blank canvas. Work on creating a masterpiece. Only you have the power to make your painting beautiful. Do not waste time chasing after success or comparing yourself to others. Every flower blooms at a different pace. Excel at doing what your passion is and only focus on perfecting it. Eventually people will see what you are great at doing, and if you are truly great, success will come chasing after you. Those who chase after success are flowers with bulbs that fade out early. Those who have success chasing after them, become eternal flowers. But remember, you were born an original work of art. Stay original always. Originals cost more than imitations. Just take a look at the the coolest people in history. History does not remember the forgettable. It honors the unique minority the majority cannot forget. — Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

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Word Origin Comics: Tips for Making It to the Top

Are you ready to make your ascent?

“STRAUSS:Have you ever thought about putting those experiences into a book?
RICHIE:I did decide to write about what I experienced in climbing to the top. And finally when I got there, I discovered what was at the top.You know what was there?
STRAUSS: No, I don’t.
RICHIE: Nothing. Not one thing. What was at the top was all the experiences that you had to get there.”

― Neil Strauss

“You do not attain success when you associate with those in high positions, It comes when you accept yourself and realize that only you can take yourself to where your heart truly lies.”

― Michael Bassey Johnson

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Measuring Up

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What are the criteria by which to judge your actions? Most people look outside themselves. Milestones (c.1746) are pillars set up on highways to mark the miles and the progress you have made. Benchmarks (c.1842) were made by surveyors, who cut them into rock or some other durable material to determine altitude.

Others prefer using their colleagues as sounding boards, providing immediate feedback, like structures that reflect sound back to the audience. But what could be more material than touchstones (15thC), smooth black siliceous stones once used to test the purity of gold and silver alloys, assayers analyzing the mark left on it, to ascertain its authenticity?

Most of the time, you operate by rule of thumb, relying on your own experience, making a rough approximation, rather than a precise measurement. The thumb, it turns out, is pretty accurate. During the second half of the 17th century, its breadth was used in measurements to approximate one inch. In French the same word, pouce, is used for both “thumb” and “inch.” Tailors noted that “Twice around the thumb is once around the wrist,” and brewers were known to commonly dip their thumb into the vat to test the temperature.

Being under someone’s thumb put them at your disposal or made you completely subservient to them, like the gladiators in the Roman amphitheater whose fate was determined by the showing of the thumbs of the spectators. In 1782 a British judge ruled that a man had the right to beat his wife providing the stick he used was no thicker than his thumb. To this rule of thumb, we can only say thumbs up (c.1600)—how the Ancients signified rejection or disapproval; thumbs down not becoming synonymous with negative sentiment until the early 20th century.

Word Origin Comics: Who’s to Blame for What’s Wrong with Our Country and Ourself

A message from Marilyn Manson–that could also be a plank in a political platform in the not so distant future.

“There is a hurricane ablowing and just by knowing what you know, you have an advantage to the blind morons that surround you everyday. However not everyone can be saved. Ancient proverb: don’t bother telling the TRUTH to your friend because he already knows and don’t bother telling the TRUTH to your enemy because he won’t believe you. Civilize those you can and fuck the rest.

There are too many people in this world. It is not our responsibility to be constantly cleaning up after the weak-minded. Nature will eventually run its course and those too stupid to live will fortunately be crushed beneath the wheels of our progress. Assume your individuality. Culture can rob you of your uniqueness. That’s how stereotypes exist, and not without reason. Anyone too wrapped up in the sheep mentality of their ethnicity can never truly express themselves as individuals.

READ, Watch, LISTEN, DO what you want. BUT BE WARNED! You cannot have this freedom at no cost. You must pay in responsibility. If you listen to MARILYN MANSON and MURDER your FAMILY then you will go to jail. That’s reality. If you decide to commit suicide for a song-SO LONG SUCKER! That kind of thinking has no place in our movement. Right now as a Family, as an Army we are limited as a minority. Laws bind us. But it is important to remember the law is only what is popular. Not what’s right or wrong. Marilyn Manson rejects conventional morality and society’s self-serving standards.

When WE become the majority, we will decide who doesn’t belong. As misanthropes and throw-away lods we will not submit to the mainstream. You will become it. And America should be very, very afraid. I AM YOU.”

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Doggone It!

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Find yourself in the doghouse again, “in disgrace, and out of favor?” How in the world did you end up there? Many attribute it to J.M. Barrie’s who in his play Peter Pan (1904) encouraged Mr. Darling to take to that particular domicile as penance until his children returned from Never-Never Land. More likely, the phrase is American in origin, a thoroughly practical application—there being no better place to banish a dog who has misbehaved. What put you out of favor? Apparently, you’re out of touch with your inner pup—a deep-felt need to come to grips with your animal nature. Try taking a deep breath to bring you back to your roots—the Latin anima, “the physical breath” or “life force” itself. Psychologist, Carl Jung, thought it synonymous with your unconscious mind and your true self. It’s appropriately feminine, you having drawn your first breath thanks to your mother. It comes from the Indo-European roots ane from which animal and animation also originate. As to the animus you feel towards others, that’s quite a different matter—it’s strictly masculine. To the Romans it spelled mind, spirit, and courage—all allegedly masculine virtues. Man’s penchant to carry things to an extreme, let it get out of hand. By 1605 it contributed to your animosity, the hostility you feel towards others, and by 1816, the animus you bore them. You’re barking up the wrong tree (c.1813) however, by allowing your animus to dictate your life. Attributing your actions to your animal instincts is to allow things of little consequence to govern those of real importance—letting the tail wag the dog (c.1900).

Word Origin Comics: The American Dream — Will the Real Horatio Alger Please Stand Up?

“It’s all right to tell a man to lift himself by his own bootstraps, but it is cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps.”

― Martin Luther King Jr.

“Everybody’s entitled to that forty acres and a mule. You’re going to do the work, but you have to have something to work with. If you don’t have a job, where do you go from there? You hear people say Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and you don’t even have shoes. You’re barefooted. What are you going to pull yourself up by? Our country owes every citizen of the United States of America a means of livelihood. Not a handout, but a way to make it.”

― Studs Terkel

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