One Line At A Time

Top 5 Thought-Changing One-Liners

My inner circle has already heard this, but it is time to share it with you all. It is my way to make people scratch their heads. This post will be no deviant from my normal fare.

The only way for a one-liner to be thought-changing is to provoke thought. Most memorable one-liners are short and pithy. The thought-changing ones are poignant reminders of how to live our lives with passion.

1. Do not ignore the obvious.

How many times have you called a friend for advice? The very first thing a good friend does is repeats the situation back to you from their point of view.

You could have done that.

How many times was the answer staring you in the face? You cannot see it because of the sequoia bark on your forehead. You were banging your head on the tree planted squarely in front of the forest.

Take a step back, and look at the situation from different angle. Inevitably, the red herring will no longer just insult your nostrils, but it will wave a fin at you.

2. I don’t accept “I don’t know” as an answer.

Do not give up. If one person does not know, ask someone else.

Think of knowledge and information as life blood. If you asked one person for a pint of blood, and he said no, would you stop there? No. You would ask someone else until you got it.

Then, be responsible. Go back to the person (people) who did not know and share! You already know that his life blood level is a least a pint low.

3. Specificity is the rule.

Universal communicators are still science fiction. Whether asking or answering, unless you are saying exactly, precisely what you mean, the person listening will not understand. When you leave out portions, your listener fills the missing bits with whatever notion is handy…even if it doesn’t quite fit.

For an example as to how this works, write down the instructions for how to make a peanut butter (no jelly) sandwich. Take it to the most smart Aleck person you know (or someone you are sure will do it right), and ask them to follow the directions exactly as they are written. I doubt you would eat it.

4. Refuse to be a victim.

Those who lie down before the door are treated as doormats.

Stand up. If you cannot win the battle alone, recruit. There is strength in numbers.

Don’t be afraid to get better armor, either. Proactive self-protection is not necessarily paranoia.

5. I did that.

Good, bad or indifferent: Take responsibility for your own actions. Yes, even the ones you wish you had not done in the first place.

People respect the fact that you are human, but only when you are willing to admit it.


Which one-liner has most changed your way of thinking?


(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2011
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  1. awarewriter

     /  December 1, 2011

    “Trust your dragon.” — McD

    When you know something is right (or wrong) and can’t explain how you know, it’s your dragon speaking with you. Dragons are non-linear beings and can’t speak in words but the music of their speech, the images they project, the ideas they spawn, the way they love to play…

    Learn to love your dragon (he or she is a part of you). Pay attention and trust your dragon. That hunch you had the other day? That was your dragon giving you a gentle kick in the butt. I love my dragon.


    • I love all the dragon tales. And inspirations. And admonishments. And I have used that line a few times, McD. Thanks for sharing your one-liner! Red.

  2. James Parsons

     /  December 1, 2011


  3. James Parsons

     /  December 1, 2011

    What did I do? or What can I do to Help.

  4. no matter how i struggle and strive, I’ll never get out of this world alive.

  5. Angela Young

     /  December 2, 2011

    So many! I think one that helped me move forward at one time in my life was “act as if”. It reminds me I am not bound by my perceptions, or my emotions. I can do those things I don’t feel like doing…

    • That is a good one, Angie. It is the basis of all of the lines in “Dance as if no one is watching.” Do you think we are all really that bound by others’ perceptions of us?

  6. bear

     /  December 2, 2011

    Heres one of my favorites I hear this all the time. “To tell you the truth” uh so that means you were fibbing before? You did it you own it! That should be the state motto! and if your favorite is I cannot tell a lie… bunky, you just did. Good job as always Annie!

    • Oh, pet peeve time! I cannot stand that one! This is not a game show. Just always tell the truth. So, so, so, so much easier. Thank you for stopping by, Bear. Red.

  7. Yes this is The Evil Zombie saying “Yes Do It, Do It Now” and the Zombie Handler with hose pipe (well it could be a cattle-prod or frozen chip shooting catapult but certainly something that has a bit of a jolt to it when activated 🙂 ) in hand ready for action.

    Of course the best way is to always mean what one says, no in between nonsense, just a straight to the point (not the point of a sword you understand?) question or answer, and none of that ridiculousness that everyone hates.

    For example, if I say that I will do something then it is as good as done, and on the times that I ask for assistance, which is very rare then I do expect to be treated with the same respect, I mean it is supposed to be a two way street isn’t it my wickedly fine friend? 🙂

    Okay I have gone off track a little with my comment but I think that I have covered the basics… Well I hope so anyway? 🙂 lol

    Have a funtastic rest of evening Red 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

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