STOP DIGGING

Q.  When is a solution not a solution?

A.  When it ignores the cause of the problem in the first place.

In fact, it creates another problem instead of solving what needed to be handled.

Bad advice and desperate moves, does little more than mask the underlying situation.  This only allows the problem to grow more deadly as a false diagnosis is worse than none at all, especially when the remedy kills the patient.  It changes into an endless pit and just digging harder won’t get you out.

Grasping at straws in an attempt to mask the underlying situation only makes it worse.  And often a false diagnosis is worse than doing nothing at all, especially when the supposed remedy kills the patient.

It’s an endless pit. Just digging harder doesn’t work.

My own experience is that many “professionals” exacerbate this problem by assuming they know best before they know what they’re looking at.  Lawyers are particularly inclined to this behavior, but bankers, politicians, and other thieves also are guilty as charged.  Too often they shoot from the hip, which increases speed but ruins accuracy.  They evidently subscribe to the “ready, fire, aim” theory of business, with legendary errors and mistakes in tow.

When I once found myself in a delicate financial position, bad advice from such characters only served to severely worsen my problem.  Their bad advice caused enormous financial and emotional stress and effort to get things back together again and it did nothing to address the underlying problem.

Yes, it’s my responsibility to know what hole I’m digging myself into, but it was the first time I’d ever walked down that road and I felt I needed competent and effective advice.  I was right in theory, wrong in practice.

(In fact the only professional I found who was worth her salt was my C.P.A.  She alone got interested in my situation and researched the options; found the most effective and beneficial way to handle it — and then did so.  )

The best advice I can give you comes from the words of wisdom of Will Rogers:

When you find yourself in a hole . . . STOP DIGGING.”

If you find yourself falling deeper in to a hole of any kind, stop frantically grasping at straws in a vain attempt to fix it.  Knock off your introverted searching for “why did this happen?”  or “Why me?” or “What did I do to cause this.”  The answer is not there.  All you’ll do is dig yourself in deeper.

Instead, clear your head by any usual means, take a walk, go to the gym, go to a movie or out to dinner; whatever seem right to you at the time.

Then, look at the situation and give it a name; decide, WHAT IS THIS?

Next, estimate your own experience and skills in handling whatever it is that you come up with.  If you’re up to it, then break it down into doable doses and begin handling it.  If it’s well above your realm of competence, get a referral from a trusted friend to find a professional in the field to talk to.  Meet with them and see if they are interested in your situation and whether you feel you can trust their advice.  Get a second opinion or even a third opinion if necessary.

Then decide: WHAT IS THE EXACT NEXT STEP TO TAKE?

Finally, DO IT.

Continue those three steps as above until the situation is back under your control again.  Then stay constantly vigilant in the future so you don’t find yourself in the same situation again as I can assure you that digging harder will only cause the situation to get worse.

daniel w. jacobs
(c) 2010-2020, all rights reserved

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