Wednesday, November 2, 2011


We’ve all heard the analogy of when life gives you lemon, make lemonade. But what if life throws at you rotten tomatoes?

Now, to clarify, there has been no rotten tomato flinging or anything, I’m just curious where certain analogies come from. I am also curious how those analogies get so engrained in our common lexicon of quotes. Can a commoner as myself come up with such an analogy? For that I have decided to do a little more research.

It turns out the quote is accredited to a lecturer and author named Dale Carnegie. Apparently he changed the spelling of his last name from Carnagey to ride on the coattails of Andrew Carnegie’s popularity. Smart move, Dale. Smart move. Of course, after even more research on the matter, it turns out he may not have necessarily penned the whole lemon thing, but more importantly popularized it. Now this got me thinking. If a poor farm boy from Missouri could become a very successful public speaking lecturer back in 1914 (his courses are still used to this very day) what is stopping me from becoming successful too? And then it hit me; self confidence. Perhaps I should look into a few of his books, or maybe take his best cue for public speaking in the first place, which is to talk about something that makes you angry. It turns out people are slightly more apprehensive about a topic they are passionate about then they are about a topic that pisses them off. Makes perfect sense to me. I know when I’m angry the words just flow out of me like water, but when I’m excited about something, I struggle as if every word is coming out wrong.

So now when I look at this analogy of lemons and lemonade, I think I get it a little more. I think I’m ready to tackle my own analogies. I think it is time to give this a shot.

“Confidence is like a dog who barks at a stranger and at the same time loses all control of her bowels. It comes and goes.”

“The difference between the complicated route and the simplified route is that most of the time nobody is going to notice the difference so why waste your time?”

“When life gives you lard, make a chocolate lard cake because, damn, it is delicious!”

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