With the internet, it is easy to learn something new everyday. Now, whether what I learn is particularly USEFUL is a different matter altogether! Take the concept of “yak-shaving.”
What I’ve learned from SkyDaddy and Seth Godin is that “yak-shaving” is the term given to first thing you have to do to accomplish what you really want to accomplish. A comprehensive example is given here on Seth’s blog, but here’s a personal example that popped into my mind.
Let’s say I want to wash a particular load of laundry, but I find that there is already a load in the washer. I need to dry that load, but there’s a load in the dryer already. THAT load needs to get upstairs, but there are no laundry baskets – they are all full of clean kid clothes. I need to put the kids’ clean clothes away, but the weather has turned colder and there is no room in their drawers for winter clothes. I need to make room by removing the summer clothes, but I have no more storage tubs. So in order to do the laundry, I have to go to the store and buy some storage tubs OR clean out existing tubs and take clothes to Goodwill. Yak-shaving!
Now, according to SkyDaddy, a yak-shaving razor is a tip or tidbit of information that helps you shave the yak faster or helps you avoid shaving the yak altogether. This lengthy introduction-cum-explanation (whew!) is leading to my five yak razors: tidbits of information I know which others may not. I aspire to be a Renaissance woman, a Jill-of-All-Trades, if you will, so my tips cover a variety of subjects!
#1. Cooking: If you are out of eggs and in the middle of a recipe that calls for some, you can substitute mayonnaise. Use 3 to 5 tablespoons of mayo in place of each egg. This usually makes your recipe much more rich, so don’t try it in anything that’s supposed to be low fat!
#2. Sports: Good downhill skiing happens from the waist down. Your upper body is basically along for the ride, centered over your skis. Once you feel what it’s like to put this into practice, you will float over the snow!
#3. Relationships: Keeping secrets from your spouse is the same as lying, which undermines your relationship. If you’re buying a Christmas present, planning a surprise party, or arranging a romantic weekend away, then secret-keeping is temporary and fine. Otherwise, you are laying the groundwork for marital problems. I am always amazed and saddened by people who admit to keeping secrets like their shopping habits, sexual fantasies, and life dreams from their spouses. If you can’t talk about these things with your spouse, with whom CAN you talk about them?!
Corollary: Anyone who asks you not to tell your spouse something is asking you to lie. I always refuse. If you tell me, you’d better assume John will know it, too!
#4. Organizing: It’s much harder to change your habits than to change how you deal with your habits. Example A: if you’ve always thrown your clothes in a pile by your bed, put a laundry basket there and fold/put away when the basket gets full. Example B: If your mail accumulates in a particular spot, put some paper bins there so you can sort the mail immediately. Example C: Put a hook in the wall where you always throw your keys. (Learned from Julie Morgenstern’s book “Organizing from the Inside Out” which truly changed my life!)
#5. There is NOTHING you cannot learn if you really want to! Sure, some things take more effort and time to learn than others. Along the way, you may discover you don’t want to make the effort (that was my conclusion about learning to play the guitar, even though I love the sound of it!), but that doesn’t mean you CAN’T learn.
So there you have my 5 yak razors. Bravo if you got this far in my lengthy post!
I’m not sure this topic really works as a meme since it requires so much explanation, but if you have nuggests of information you’d like to share, and no one interested in hearing them, consider yourself tagged! Feel free to leave your razors as comments or blog about them yourself and leave a link back to your site in the comments.