In retrospect, it is easy to identify dead-end projects. If we look back at Alexander the Great, we can see that his dream of conquering the world was a foolish adventure. Similarly, if we look back at the Byzantine Empire, we can see how the erosion of principles ruined its legal system.
On the other hand, acknowledging that a beloved current
activity may be a dead-end project is a whole different question. Human
beings seldom stop detrimental actions even when errors become apparent;
instead, we come up with a hundred reasons in favour of continuing what
is manifestly unworkable. We do not want to lose face by admitting that
we have made a mistake.
Choosing sustainability over short-term satisfaction
Sustainability marks the difference
between difficult undertakings and dead-end enterprises. A feasible plan
leads to a better future; a hopeless proposition, to endless
nightmares. High-quality service leads to satisfied customers; wasteful
chaos, to regrets. Learning valuable skills leads to increased
productivity; senseless memorizing, to unbearable boredom.
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.
The following questions can help establish if a project is worth
pursuing or not.
Are you creating long-term assets?
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 commitments.
Do you spend your days surrounded by people you like?
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.
Are you developing valuable skills?
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
Can your work be expanded to a global scale?
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.
Are you embarked on a path of personal growth?
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.
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.
Image by jtriefen under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us