Give Up Already!

Band Aid

I was still in bed when I heard such frightful swearing from the kitchen.  Upon investigation I discovered that Spouse had impaled his index finger on a nail and was trying to open up a “bandaid”.  Not a brand name Band-Aid, mind you, but a cheap generic version thereof.  He handed it to me.  Here you try it (expletives deleted). 

Knowing that such devices are designed for easy opening, even when extremities are impaired, I set to work.  I tried one end, then the other.  Then I examined the middle.  Then each end again.  I twisted it and tried to slip in a fingernail somewhere.  Finally I threw it down on the table and picked up another, which had a very easy access point, and the plaster was ready for use in about 1.2 seconds flat.

Which of course meant that I had spent way too long stubbornly clinging to my preconceptions:

  • The manufacturer must have made this easy to open
  • I must be missing something
  • I don’t let things like this defeat me
  • I am smart
  • How come I am failing now?
  • Um, there has to be something wrong with this one

You have to believe that a task it do-able and and give it a good effort, because not everything is going to go exactly as according to plan.  But how long should you struggle at something before you give up?

Don’t forget to examine options up front.  The one you picked really could be a dud.  Don’t spend too much time on it, especially when an alternative is sitting there on the table in front of you. 

Especially when your first choice is accompanied by blood and swearing.

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