Friday, August 27, 2010

Lets get started part 7: Walking away

In this series we have looked at a lot of the problems surrounding getting started. Without a beginning there cannot be an ending. If we do not start we are guaranteed not to fail but also we will not succeed all we will have is regret for the opportunity we missed. The only correct times to reject a project are during the planning stage, or after we have tried it out.

Planning is not starting; it is doing the research and determining the best way to do the thing we want to do as well as gathering the skills and materials to do it. While we are learning about what it is we want to do we may find that the project is not what we thought it was and will not have the results that we want. This is a good time to walk away before we invest our time money and energy in it. The key here is we are making an informed and reasonable decision. If the project has the results we want and have a reasonable chance of successes we should move forward with it. Do not abandon things in the planning stage because they are hard, we need to do hard things to be successful. However banging our head against the impossible is a waste of effort.

Sometimes we see things and they look good on paper but in practice they leave something to be desired. If we start project and then relies it is not going to meet our needs this is another time to walk away. It is important here to understand that failure is not a lack of successes but an admission that success ins not possible no matter want we do. Look at it this way one morning you walk out to your car and it will not start. You decide it must be the battery and go get the jumper cables and a friend. The car still does not start. Now if we stop trying to fix the car at that point then we have failed to fix it. The car sits there forever unable to start. However even when our first try was not successful if we keep working then we have not failed; even if we have to call someone else in to help. However let us say that the car that will not start is a late 70's Ford with peeling paint and more duct tape then hoses. The repairs to make it run will cost more than it would to replace the car. Walking away from the car at this point is not failure either it is a redefining of priorities. The priority is having working transportation not making the car I have work. Knowing when to walk away is as important as knowing when to stay.

The last great hurdle to starting something new is the fear we will be stuck with finishing what we start. This is only true when what we start has value and gives the benefit we are looking for. When it does not we are within our rights to stop.

Editign Project: none today unless you count the school papper. Our first issue comes out on Monday and today it is time to edit, edit and edit.


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