Another Duh Moment for Me

There are many words in our language that have prefixes that change the meaning of the root of the word.  Prefixes like in, im, un, and non.

And sometimes we see the word with the prefix a bazillion times more than seeing it sans prefix.  And when we see it sans prefix, we sit up and take notice.  Well, at least, I do.

Like this morning.  I read the word ‘peccable.’   That was my ‘well, duh’ moment.

The word ‘impeccable’ is more widely used and recognized.  And because of this, my little pea brain never processed the fact that if I removed the prefix, I would have the root word.  And that root word would be something that I could add to my vocabulary arsenal.

Peccable is an adjective that means liable to sin or error.  If you say that someone is peccable (as is many of our government officials . . . ) you are stating that they are liable of sinning and making errors.  Which they do.

We know that impeccable means flawless or faultless.  So peccable means to have flaws or faults.  A diamond that has flaws is peccable.  A poorly written term paper for school is peccable because it has flaws and errors.

My thinking was peccable (flawed) in not understanding or realizing that I could remove im from impeccable and get a word that means something.

Silly me.

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Today’s word comes from the Japanese.  And I absolutely love this word.  I’ll tell you why in a moment.

The word is kaizen which is a noun that means improvement — especially continuous improvement.  Slow incremental but constant improvement.

I know that it is already February in 2010.  But, New Year’s Resolutions are still on my mind. (Heck, I’m not just thinking about them, I’m even actually working on some!)

Sometimes goals are intimidating.  I get overwhelmed.  I get discouraged.  I throw in the towel and stop working on them all together.

But, if I use the kaizen approach to my goals, they won’t be so overwhelming.  This is why I love that word.  This gives me hope that I can succeed in whatever my endeavors are.

You’ve probably heard the saying, ‘By the inch it’s a cinch.  By the yard, it’s hard.’  One of my college roommates would say, “How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.”  That’s the kaizen way of doing things — in small yet steady steps.

‘Write the great American novel’ is a totally overwhelming goal.  But, writing 3 sentences everyday is totally doable.  Totally.

The idea of losing 50 pounds sends me to my pantry in search of comfort food.  But, eating smaller portions at supper tonight is something that I know I can do that won’t be too painful.

Kaizen.  Chip away slowly, in small steady steps at something you want to improve.  Slow and steady = progress.

I hope you implement this philosophy in your goals or any ‘large’ thing you want to accomplish.

Good luck.

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