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Sometimes Success Is Knowing When to Quit

·312 words·2 mins
Self Improvement

“I feel like such a miserable failure,” she says.

“I know,” I reply. “But you aren’t.”

She’s been working on a project for a while, doing a ton of prep work. It’s all she’s been able to talk about for weeks and months.

But a bunch of things have gone wrong last minute logistically, in the eleventh hour. And she’s discovered that if she does it now that it could completely backfire. A lot of things could go wrong. Things could not only not go well, it could get dangerous.

She’s devastated. Understandably. But there’s no way to move forward safely, not with everything she knows now.

“It’s not easy to change your plans,” I say. “Especially when you have your heart set on something. And it’s easy to feel like a failure when you have to make those tough calls. But this is probably what success looks like in this scenario. At this time, for now, success might be postponing the project until it can be done safely.” I pause. “The real failure in this instance could be sticking to the plan, rushing it through without the proper safeguards.”

But I know it’s hard, I say. I feel awful for her. I’ve been there.

“Sometimes success is knowing when to quit,” I say. “And sometimes success is knowing when to reschedule.”

That’s what I think she’ll do. Not right away. There are too many logistics to be sorted through, settled, and resettled.

But later. After a while, after she’s done dealing with all the unexpected hitches in her plans, and a bit after that still — after she’s had time to lick her wounds and recover from the disappointment of having to postpone things… then, she’ll regroup. She’ll launch her project.

And it will be the kind of success she deserves to have.

But today gets to be a dark day.


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