2021Feb 3

“The Smooth Handle” (2 Minute Read)

“The Smooth Handle” (2 Minute Read)

Thomas Jefferson
was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, musician, philosopher, and Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809. As far as accomplished goes, Jefferson has ticked plenty of boxes. In 1811, he wrote his Canons of Conduct or 12 rules for living.

Rule #10 is to “Take things always by their smooth handle”

There is some debate about Jefferson’s intended meaning with a myriad of suggestions easily found via a quick google search.

When I first read this rule, I journaled on my own interpretation. Rightly or wrongly, I took ‘handle’ to mean a ‘situation’ & for us to always look to find the path of least resistance when we are presented with an obstacle to overcome. By doing so, we can navigate our way through challenges not by reinventing the path, but by following what we know to work.

This does not mean to take the easy way out, but to find similarities within our challenges and to learn from the previous iterations the obstacles we face.

As we move out of Lockdown #5, we are presented with yet another foray back to ‘regular’ life. With many of us re-returning to our work, gym, sports and the ‘real world’ after a few weeks at home, it can pay great dividends to lean on our past experience to successfully navigate these new challenges.

By taking things always by their smooth handle, we allow ourselves to choose how we deal with the inevitable challenges we are faced with. We learn from our past mistakes and are able to cultivate a future we can be proud of.

What has worked in the past? What hasn’t? A simple awareness exercise can help you avoid the mistakes you’ve made and lean on your victories.


2021+Feb 48