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If the House is on Fire

Never Give Up
Today, I’d like to comment on two competing forces that direct and regulate decisions in life. The first is this: Push through difficulties. Be determined. Don’t give up, let up, or interrupt. Keep pushing toward the goal even when difficulties arise, and circumstances are unfavorable. On occasion, doubling your effort will pay big dividends. There are times that call for hard work and perseverance. We’ll call this principle “Never give up!”

Know When to Get Out
The second principle is opposite of the first. If the house is on fire–get out! We are too often hanging pictures and rearranging furniture while the house is being consumed by fire all around us. We overlook the inevitable catastrophe with wishful thinking. We are naïve, ignoring negative realities and choosing to live in a self-created fantasyland. Determine when to walk away from an impossible situation. Don’t keep throwing time, money, and effort where improvement and change are unlikely. Know what you can alter, control, and modify and know what you can’t. Keep in mind some things cannot be fixed, they must be replaced. We’ll call this principle “Know when to get out!”

Using Wisdom
Never give up! And know when to get out! These two principles are at war. They are so different from each other that you often follow one and blatantly disregard the other. These principles are easier to know what they are than to know how and when to apply them. The wisdom to determine what I can control and what I can’t, is gained through experience. Become a student of decision–making. Investigate situational differences and develop trusted advisors. Acquire emotional regulation skills that let you make intellectually informed decisions rather than careless overreactions. Always be open to course corrections along the way, identifying when you can put out a fire and when you need to run.

Recovery is a journey. Enjoy the ride!