Una's Blog


18 How long should I keep flogging this dead horse?

graphic-6by Una Hearne.

Edison said ‘I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work!’ Perseverance is one of the characteristics of successful human beings. Sometimes in the face of overwhelming odds. Sometimes sheer bloody-mindedness when all around you would have given up gracefully and are just waiting to cart you off to the funny farm, is just the ticket for success.

It is a judgement call. Most of the big decisions in your life are choices with no guarantees. If it is a decision about your career / business / relationship / life, the good news is it is your call. Of course the bad news is it is your call. Your welcome and I’m sorry.

How are you supposed to know what is the right choice in any given situation? Use your head? List pros and cons? Go with your gut instinct? Get advice? Well yes, all of this and … it’s another judgement call. Oh dear. You’re welcome and I’m sorry again.

There are plenty of theories on how to make the best decisions. Usually the person telling you which is the ‘right’ way, is telling you which worked best for them. Everyone is unique and the only person who knows what is right for you, is you.

We often talk about whether we should use our head or our heart. Given that we have both, it would seem to me a shame not to use them both. Along with any and all other resources we can call on. It does depend on the size of the decision of course and the importance of the outcome to your life and wellbeing. The bigger the decision, the more thought you should give it, the more attention you should pay to your feelings and instinct, the more advice you should seek and logic you should employ. You don’t need to put a huge effort into deciding what to have for breakfast but for the big stuff affecting your life it is worth giving choices appropriate time and thought.

Then, when you have made the best decision you can in a given situation at a point in time, understand that it is the right and best decision.  (Please read that sentence again, thank you) It has to be, since you couldn’t have made a better one at the time. Of course things don’t always go the way we want and we can look back and pick apart decisions, see the flaws in logic, regret listening to our instincts or our friends and mentors. We can, and often do, this. IT IS COMPLETELY MAD. Regrets and recriminations over our past choices are at best, utterly pointless and at worst, self destructive. Learning from them is always useful – I’m not saying don’t examine the outcome – I’m just saying you can’t make a wrong or a bad decision if you have done your best.

Accept where you are now. Make the best decision you can, count a victory, learn from the outcome – good or bad – and take the next step.



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