People use general words and phrases all the time. A few years ago, I looked at our apartment and decided it was time to paint. It had been many years since the last paint job, and I wanted to spruce the place up. At breakfast the next morning, I asked my husband when we were going to paint our apartment. He responded, "Soon." Good, I thought.
For the next few days, I imagined all the colors I wanted and how they would go with our furniture. After a month, I approached my husband again, filled with ideas and excitement about the project. Again, he told me that we would do it "soon." To this day, I have plenty of ideas and the paint samples on hand, and I am ready to go whenever "soon" arrives.
Soon is a definite red flag. It could mean ten minutes, an hour, or a few weeks. There are many words that are red flags for generalities, including:
Some phrases that are red flags as well:
|I don't like it
||we can't afford it
|let's do it
||it doesn't suit our needs
|a few miles
||that's a good idea
Whenever you hear these words or phrases, be sure to ask the person using them to be more specific.
"We think in generalities, but we live in detail."
- Alfred North Whitehead, mathematician, philosopher, cosmologist
* Also appearing throughout the book are sections headed by the letters IQ. That stands for either "interesting quote" or "intelligent question." Each section contains words of wisdom on the subject of questions.