A platitude is a saying that everyone seems to know, and that everyone sort of just assumes is true without thinking about it. It`s different from a cliche in that platitudes usually don`t really mean much of anything. They`re almost an automatic response someone makes to something, requiring no actual thought on the matter.
"It`s as plain as the nose on your face!"
People hear this and infer that they must be sort of dumb---they`re not
seeing the obvious, and they feel a bit stupid as a result. But is that
true? How obvious IS the nose on your face----to You!?
We`ve had a recent post about "solo-preneurs," and how contemplating
that expression caused our community member some axiety and
trepidation. Isn`t it a similar type of anxiety you`d feel if someone
scoffed and told you that what they were saying was as "plain as the
nose on your face?"
Microwave philosophy is where people try to substitute actual reasoned
analysis with a 10-second, instant solution. It`s using a series of
empty platitudes, worn-out expressions, and thoughtless illustrations
instead of actual thinking. But in today`s world, so many people buy
into this type of analysis, it`s causing them trouble.
What others of these kinds of platitudes have you heard? Why are they
empty and meaningless? Have you bought into such an expression, only to
discover you wasted a lot of time with it?
"The customer is always right."
That`s another one that`ll lead you down the garden path into a swamp.
No, the customer isn`t always right! If they`re asking for something
you don`t produce, should you change your entire company mission? If a
customer at MacDonald`s complains because they wanted a slice of pizza,
is that customer right?
"Most businesses fail in the first year."
Okay, that`s probably a true statistic, but does that automatically
mean YOUR business idea will fail? Should you just abandon even trying
it out because the odds are overwhelming that it WILL fail? It`s a
statistic, not a fact of reality!
And yet how many hopeful entrepreneurs don`t even get started because they`ve bought into this particular platitude?
Here`s a musical expression of how Microwave Philosophers can ruin your life. The song is "Mr. Tanner,"
by Harry Chapin, for those of you who haven`t ever heard it. (The
engineering quality sucks, but the lyrics and music still come across
with a lot of power.)
Think back over your life: have you fallen victim to platitudes? Which ones?