Sticky Notes of Thoughts

…because some thoughts are worth remembering

On Not Trying Harder


We’ve been brought up to try harder when you don’t succeed at first. There are two issues with it. One I already mentioned, where the word “try” gives you an impression that somehow you aren’t going to succeed but you are going to feign some effort, vs. “do” your best. The second issue is that the solution to try harder assumes that the initial failure was caused by lack of effort. It is not necessarily true that simply trying harder, applying more effort in the same manner, will result in success. Didn’t Einstein famously define insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”?

Before you try harder or tell others to try harder, it might be worth reflecting on why it didn’t work the first time. If you/they have been trying hard already, why not try “different” not harder? If you don’t know what else to try, there is no shame in asking others for help. Know why you didn’t have the right answer in the first place.

Photo: Orvietto, Italy


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This entry was posted on May 5, 2015 by in Management and tagged , , , , , .
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