Do you know when to cut your losses?

If you’re taking risks regularly and deliberately, or otherwise running yourself up against the resources you can bring to bear, it’s inevitable that you’ll sometimes fail. You’ll run out of resources, or of time, or motivation, or simply realize that whatever it is you’re doing on whatever timescale simply isn’t tenable.

How will you know?

Most folks' default for this is to delay, to push through until either burnout or to semiconsciously reduce the effort in what looks like self-sabotage. A few of us cut things early, so as not to have to face failure. As a rule, though, this means making the decision to stop in the midst of feeling as though not all is going the right way, when you’re less well-resourced and rational, less able to make a quality decision.

What if you chose your criteria in advance? If you said, I will push to this point, but not further?

This sounds depressing, but a failure isn’t the end of the world, and avoiding all failure isn’t living. On your hardest day, at what point do you say: it’s okay, I’m not going to hit my goals today?

And once you’ve determined where the line is drawn, you can give your best right up to it. There’s a freedom in setting and knowing your own boundaries.

Did that make your day a little better?

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