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In Jia Jiang's book "Rejection Proof", I encountered the following sentence:

Self-improvement: By taking the motion out of rejection, one can use it as an effective way to improve an idea or product.

To get a little more context, here is the corresponding text section (cited from here):

For example, in a job search, if you applied one hundred times with the same résumé and were rejected for an interview each time, instead of seeing the rejections as a sign that you are not qualified for the job and should lower your expectations, you could improve your résumé, write a new cover letter, or use other channels such as networking to try again and see if there is any change in the percentage of callbacks.

Could you please explain, what "taking the motion out of" mean? More specifically:

  • Is this meant in a figurative sense?

  • For which other situation could I use as well? Could you please give me an example?

Thank you!

  • Sorry, but the link brings me to the book's entry on the website, not to a context inside the book. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 22 '18 at 16:15
  • I edited my entry another time, I hope it is more helpful this time. – Diglett Jul 22 '18 at 16:40
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It's obviously metaphoric, since "rejection" is an abstract noun (it can't physically move anywhere). But it's not "normal English", so exactly what Jia Jiang means is really a matter of "creative interpretation". My guess is it's (approximately, at least) equivalent to impact.

I'm not sure how fluent the writer is in English, but it occurs to me he might simply not be aware of the "standard" term used in such contexts...

These techniques can take the sting out of rejection. (that's 352 hits in Google Books)

We can assume that by default, rejection is considered a bad thing - but the cited text claims the victim can turn it to his advantage by removing something closely connected to the fact of being rejected. And the most likely thing he'd want not to have would be his negative reaction (as to a sting, or hard impact).


Or it could simply be a typo / proofreading error, where motion should have been emotion. In which case the advice is to "take out / remove / overcome / redirect" one's [negative, self-harming] emotional reaction to being rejected, and channel that (emotional, not mechanical) energy into something useful in some other context.

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taking the motion could be understood as using the opposing energy of rejection to advantage, a kind of product-development judo or kung fu. Are other martial-arts metaphors used in the book?

  • I don't think it would be idiomatic to speak of taking the motion out of an opponent's attacking move in a martial arts context, but on purely pragmatic grounds that doesn't seem exactly right anyway. The idea in judo isn't so much to "block / stop" your opponent's moves - it's more a matter of retaining, but redirecting [his] energy of motion in a way that favours you instead of him. Which meaning could in principle be expressed by the cited text, but that would be an awful long way from "idiomatic" to native speakers today. – FumbleFingers Jul 22 '18 at 15:47
  • I added the corresponding text section. Maybe that clears up the meaning a bit. – Diglett Jul 22 '18 at 15:58
  • @FumbleFingers: I was understanding out of to mean from, basically redirecting that energy, not "removing" it. The subtitle of the book, which I've just now learned: "How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible" – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 22 '18 at 16:14

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