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Meet Me Halfway

Photo by Ivan Obolensky

I came across an interesting hack the other day. Granted the need for it may never be in your future, but I’m always one to look up obscure problems and solutions. I store them away in my mind just in case—things like what to do if the car you’re travelling in plunges off a bridge and into a river, or how to defend against a large attacking dog.

In this hack, let’s suppose an arduous journey is necessary, like crossing a river that is freezing cold, or being forced to listen to a really bad lecture (joke). You know at the outset that it will be painful and likely test the limits of endurance. A way to get through it is to focus on making it halfway. Why? Because once that point is reached and passed, the distance remaining is shorter than the distance one must travel to turn back. If time is the issue, then the amount of time you’ve already managed to endure will not be as long as the time that still remains. The point is that if the whole seems impossible, chop it in half. If you can make it past halfway, you can make it all the way.

Sometimes it seems easier to retreat or give up than continue. We’ve all been there. Entire armies can get into this position and have. The wise general knows that when confronted with the possibility of defeat, it’s sometimes necessary to burn the boats and make retreat impossible. With all lines of withdrawal cut off, the only solution is to advance. The same applies to individuals.

In general, once the halfway point is reached, the least painful solution available is to continue through to the end. Hopefully, we need never consider such solutions, but should they materialize, focus on making it halfway. Figure that out, and it’s all downhill from there.

[This hack came from the television series, Patriot, which stars one of my favorite actors, Kurtwood Smith.]

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