Monday, 25 January 2016

Five differences between difficult undertakings and hopeless enterprises

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

Sustainability marks the difference between difficult undertakings and hopeless enterprises. A feasible plan leads to a better future, while a hopeless proposition leads 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.

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. The following questions can help establish if a project is worth pursuing or not.

  1. Are you creating new 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.
  2. Are you dealing with friendly people? 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. 
  3. Are you acquiring new 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 hobbies forever. 
  4. Can your project expand overseas? 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. 
  5. Will it contribute to your 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.
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. 

Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

Image by jtriefen under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us


For more information about rational living, I refer you to my books

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