Was that profound or bullshit?

“In unifying your chi with that of your opponent–in aligning the breath of your life and theirs–you will storm the strongest fortress. There! Is that a good Secret?”

“I have no idea. It sounds as if it might be really profound. It also sounds like baloney. It is, therefore, the highest-quality bullshido, or martial arts hogwash. I don’t know whether to commit it to memory and study it or consider it an object lesson in the ease with which you can counterfeit ancient proverbs.”

– Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World

When trying to find a pattern or when summarizing something you have learnt, the challenge lies in not making it too abstract. Abstract concepts are great at getting new thoughts and ideas across, but they are usually extremely difficult to use in real life.

In a course or presentation, you want to give short and memorable statements that your clients will remember and can bring from the course. If they become too abstract or if you don’t follow them up with practical ways of implementing them, then they will quickly go from profound to bullshit.