When I was younger, if I started a project — any project — I finished it all costs to the bitter end.

As I get older and, I hope, wiser — I am better able to perceive the end before I begin. 

That prescience allows me the divinity to not start projects that are doomed to fail.

However, there are times that I am convinced — by circumstance or by the force of outside personality — to take on a job that, in midstream, I know will never work and is destined for failure.

Instead of falling headlong into a bitter end — I am now able to rationally argue against that end and devise a plan to fix the project before it fails. 

If there’s no way to manipulate the project’s DNA for salvation, then I’m fine with allowing the project to die a humble, unfinished, death.

I have convinced myself that not needing to take every project to the bitter end is a good thing — but am I merely amusing myself with the erosion of a good work ethic and the dismissal of a desire to be accomplished in ever ideal?


  1. I think the same way, David. You lose patient in getting older because you’ve been there and done that. First experiences are always a challenge.

  2. I guess we also get cranky too, Anne. SMILE! I know I have less eagerness to repeat the same mistakes I’ve already made even when that repetition appears inevitable.

  3. It’s good for young people to make mistakes so they can learn from them. The older of us end up cleaning up ther messes.

  4. I suppose there’s some good vision in that thinking, Anne. The kids have the power to overcome their mistakes while the experienced people try not to exert the energy on useless things.

  5. Hi David,
    The image is pretty striking! A little eerie though!
    I think detaching oneself and evaluating the situation in every step is very necessary; most of the time we get sucked into our idea of finishing the race – no matter what.
    I think if one can see the inevitable disaster at the end without being a “what iffer”, s/he should either change the direction or change the route or change the destination.

  6. We do tend to get sucked into “finishing at all and any cost,” Katha, even though most of us are taught in business to never “throw good money after bad.” I think there’s a great “loss of face” involved in not finishing what is started. I suppose the key is to never begin something we know is doomed to fail. That way everything is saved from the start — yet there is always the danger of never beginning anything, too.

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