If You Don’t Want to be Doing What You Are Doing – Make a Change!

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“I was wrong”
How many times have you said this in your life?
My guess is, not many.

How many times have you been wrong?
If I haven’t guessed completely wrong, more than once.

Owning up to a mistake is nothing most people are good at and it often costs us, especially when it keeps us from seeing the truth and keeps us from giving up on a project doomed to failure.

Good ideas gone bad
When starting a new project it usually feels great, it cannot go anywhere but up, you will succeed and you will get the fame and recognition that comes with it!
But as time goes by, things stop going as well; your success takes a turn for the worse.

You start brainstorming to come up with ideas to salvage the project and you might get a break through.

But sometimes a market and your product isn’t salvageable; as when the computer was invented, it was a lost cause for companies making type writers, the market vanished.
It feels obvious to us now that companies making typewriters should have quickly left the market for other things, but many stayed on to the bitter end.

The problem is that not all have the courage to face reality and see that your project, even though it was a good idea at the onset, just isn’t a good idea anymore.

“But if we stop now all the time and energy we have put into it will have been wasted.”
This is true, but what happens if you keep putting time and energy into the project and don’t get any payoff down the road either?
What if you start on a new project that has better chances of success?

The flip side – the two motivators
I am worried though as I write this article that I will get many people to give up on projects, most projects aren’t doomed even if they might seem so now. Psychologists have proven that the closer you get to achieving your goal the more motivated you get to complete it.

Feels logical doesn’t it?

But what they have found is that at the same time you become more afraid of failure and want to go up.
What is really sad is that the fear of failure increases faster than the motivation to complete.
This means that just before you complete your goal your whole being is telling you “Give up! Run away!”

Success is truly one step beyond failure
This is something I always repeat to myself when I feel like giving up, if my body is sending me the emotion that I should give up, surrender, it is because I am only one step away from success.
That is why I am so afraid!

The lessons from todays post

1. Your emotions will fool you.
when you feel like giving up, that is exactly when you need to continue and push on!

2. Your mind will tell you when a project is doomed.
Your logical mind can see that a project is on its way to ruin if you listen to it. Your rational mind, can way in the larger issues and smaller issues that are threatening your project. If it turns out that your project is doomed, quickly give it up, salvage what you can and move on to a project with a brighter future.

Always make sure though that it is your rational mind you are following and not your emotions, because if it is your emotions you are listening to, you are probably only one step away from success.

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  5. Persistence In The Face Of Adversity
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2 Responses to If You Don’t Want to be Doing What You Are Doing – Make a Change!

  1. Fred Tracy says:

    Great article Daniel.

    I definitely like the recap. Especially the part about our emotions fooling us. I will often have random spurts of anxiety around my goals for no particular reason. In fact, the surges tend to come whenever I’m doing really good. I think this has more to do with a fear of success in anything else. Certainly it doesn’t indicate that I’m not going to be successful.

    But there’s also a point where you have to know that you need to make a change, as this article suggests. It’s a fine balancing act for sure.

    • Daniel M. Wood says:

      Hey Fred,

      I was worried when writing this post that I would motivate people to give up on their goals, that was not the point which is why I added the part about your emotions.

      What is important is that you listen to your rational mind and not your irrational mind controlled by emotions.

      I think you do that well my friend.

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