Out of all the different specialties that exist in the medical profession, the most brilliant one of them all is the podiatrist, otherwise known as the foot doctor. I know this because I went to see the foot doctor, and he told me that I had “Athletes Foot.” Actually, I had Athletes Feet, because it turned out that my two feet were both very athletic.
The foot doctor gave me instructions on how to treat the Athletes Foot, and I went home satisfied, and even felt pretty good that I had Athletes Foot, It even sounds like something you want to go home and brag about.
Husband: Honey, great news! I have Athletes Foot!!
Wife: Wonderful. Just let me know when you get Athletes Body.
Think of how we would look at illness and disease if we just gave them better names, or at least get a bit more creative. But, here’s an easy example of not exactly the best name for a condition.
Patient: I am feeling sad and depressed lately.
Doctor: Interesting. I believe that you suffering from depression.
I am, by no means, a doctor. However, how does the diagnosis of depression make a depressed person feel any better about their depression? Answer that question for me. Why would you give a depressing diagnosis to a depressed person?
Now, a brain tumor is a very serious condition, and it should be treated very seriously by the best brain surgeon you can find. Yet, imagine how much more enjoyable the conversation would be if you changed the diagnosis of “Brain Tumor” to “Genius Brain.”
Brain Surgeon: I am sorry to tell you, but the x-rays came back positive. It confirmed what I feared. You have Genius Brain.
Patient: Genius Brain. Oh no. Will I need a brain operation?
Brain Surgeon: The good news is that the Genius in your brain appears to be inoperable. We have to monitor this closely. If your Genius becomes operable, we will have to operate, and remove the Genius from your brain.
Patient: Thank goodness that my Genius is inoperable. I have a question. Suppose that it becomes operable, and you remove the Genius from my brain. Can the Genius grow back.
Brain Surgeon: Yes. That will be a concern. We will always have to do regular brain scans to determine if you ever have any Genius growth inside your brain. A Genius inside your brain can be very dangerous, and sometimes even fatal.
Patient: Thank you Doctor.
Brain Surgeon: By the way, how’s your Athletes Foot coming along?
Patient: Great! I have it on both of my feet, and I rub my hands on them every day. I am hoping to get Athletes Hands!
Brain Surgeon: I shouldn’t say this because it is not my specialty, but if you went on a diet, and did a bit of exercise, I hear that you may get Athletes Body.
Patient: You must have been talking to my wife. She says the same thing.
Now, George Carlin said once in one of his Stand Up HBO Specials; “People think that if you change the name of the condition, you can change the condition. It doesn’t happen, Cousin. It just doesn’t happen.”
He is absolutely right. If you rename a brain tumor, and call it “Genius Brain,” it is still a serious condition. It certainly would not change the condition. I have given a new name for our “crankiness.” It is called the “CrankaTsuris,” or how I like to refer to it as the “Common CrankaTsuris.” The name is not meant to change the condition, or even get rid of the condition. The name “CrankaTsuris” is given to our crankiness to allow us to embrace our own crankiness. If we embrace what we wanted to get rid of or feel ashamed of beforehand, it changes the perception. While it does not eliminate the condition, it softens the condition. It gives it a form, and by giving it both a form, and a fun name, we can then decide exactly how we want to deposit the CrankaTsuris.
Here is a good way of thinking about this. Imagine if you get punched in the face, and you did not see the punch coming. It came out of nowhere. Then, imagine the punch in the face, and you see it coming. you are prepared. You may still get hit in the face, but you can deflect some of the punch. Even if you could not deflect the punch, it will not hurt as much as the punch that you did not see.
Here is another example. Imagine that you are visiting someone’s home. You see that they have a nice rug, and the floors have been cleaned. You ask politely if you should take your shoes off, or the host may even tell you to remove your shoes. You still can walk on the rug, but you are not bringing in the dirt from outside that was on the bottom of your shoes.
Again, by changing the name of the condition, we do not change the condition. However, by changing the name of our crankiness, it reminds us that we always have a choice to be ineffective with our own crankiness, or use it effectively. This is what the CrankaTsuris Method is all about.