Although there is no foolproof formula for identifying dead-end projects, experience provides us with effective guidelines. The sooner we recognize a losing pattern, the faster we can correct it or escape it. If you want to increase your chances of leading a happy life, it is crucial that you avoid projects that lead to stress, anxiety, and depression.
How to avoid projects that lead to stress, anxiety, and depression
The following eight questions can help establish if a project is
worth pursuing or not.
 Does it create assets or liabilities?
Valuable undertakings provide the foundation for a
better future; detrimental activities destroy resources. The worst sort
of ventures are those that create permanent liabilities. Never embark
yourself on an enterprise that requires you to make disproportionate
 Does it involve dealing with nice people or
unpleasant individuals? Dead-end projects attract bitter persons who
relish in sharing their misery. Enterprises that possess a culture of
aggressiveness hire workers who are nasty and mean. Those environments
are not conductive to success; seek out kind people and do your best to
avoid the rest.
 Is your project inspired by reason or by
prejudice? Rigid preconceptions constitute a disadvantage in the age of
globalisation and internet. Prejudice cannot provide a sound basis for
cooperation and friendship. Avoid projects based on cultural bias;
instead, choose activities inspired by reason.
 Does it
develop valuable skills or is it just a hobby? The best games
make us acquire useful habits and think for ourselves; similarly, the
best sports improve our overall physical condition. In contrast,
dead-end activities have restrained scopes with no wider application;
they are doomed to remain hobbies forever.
 Does it have a
local or international focus? Minority languages, despite their many
charms, cannot match the array of possibilities offered by English,
Spanish, French, and German. Projects with strict local focus provide
few opportunities for growth and learning. Activities with a global view
allow participants to meet many interesting people.
 Does the
project encourage production or consumption? Activities that consume a
massive amount of resources cannot be carried out for long. If you work
in the field of development, choose projects aimed at building up
productive skills in the local population. The purpose of sustainable
development is to provide individuals with know-how so that
they can generate a steady income for themselves.
 Does it
create a feeling of adventure or routine? The best enterprises possess
high goals that motivate participants to perform everyday activities
that often are unchallenging or boring. Inspiration transforms routine
into adventure. Undertakings that do not provide an ennobling vision of
the future will rarely be worth your time.
 Does the project
encourage growth or simply tries to prevent decay? History changes
markets and fashions; the clock cannot be turned back. Worthy activities
follow current trends and attract new customers; in contrast,
unworkable projects attempt to maintain dying traditions; they have
already lost the race against time.
Stay away from hopeless situations
Stop wasting time on dead-end
projects. As soon as you identify a losing pattern, discard
rationalisations and analyse your motivation. Shun activities that keep
you running in circles; instead, seek out opportunities for growth
and learning; choose projects that enhance productiveness, cooperation,
kindness, and friendship.
For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living
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