Monday, November 7, 2016

Thought for the Day - When You Mess Up, Hold On a Sec, Else You're Really Dead

The other day I wrote a long blog post while writing a review of the 'Decision Book'. There were 50 decision making models and I wanted to capture a whole lot of them in a couple of lines. It took a lot of effort that spread over two days. Just as I was easing into the final draft and fine tuning a word and a phrase, I did something that I had not done in years - I brushed against some key on the key board and the entire lot of some 2000 odd words and a few hours of concentrated work just disappeared off the screen.


My heart went cold.

I messed up. And colossally. It's a feeling I am familiar with.

My typical reaction when I mess up colossally is this - Cover up. Run. (If I can.)

And even as my mind tried to tell me 'hey pal, there is some undo function somewhere so don't panic, just hold on, hold yourself, don't do anything stupid, don't do any knee jerk stuff, hold on, we can do it, trust me...' and while this rational side was talking to me gently and trying to convince me not to do anything stupid - my let's-run-away aspect frantically hit some back button without thinking.

The entire browser disappeared. And with it, I realised, with a sinking heart, all chances of any recovery. I had followed one stupid act with a bigger stupider act. Why had I not listened to that voice and held my hands and kept them away from the key board. I reopened the browser - the post was empty.

The truth came home. I have to write that post again.

I then noticed the back button in the blog screen. Over that was some other back button that took me out of the blog screen and shut me out of any sort of recovery.

In my calm anger, later, after the horse had bolted, I told myself. Next time, keep your hands off in such a situation. Just stay off. Relax. Act very carefully, very deliberately. This is when you have to think and think and think again and only then, when absolutely sure, act with great deliberation.

If you cannot hold yourself for that one second, when you feel like quickly covering up before anyone (including you) can see, against what all your senses say, you've pretty much lost the situation.

Here are the steps when you mess up colossally.
Mess up.
Heart goes cold.
Tie hands behind your back.
Close your eyes.
Then start, slowly.
Very slowly.
Think. Think. Think.
When absolutely sure - untie hands and act.

That's the only way to get out of the ditch. To retrieve the situation with minimum losses.

No comments: