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From Wikipedia:

Buridan’s Ass is an illustration of a paradox in philosophy in the conception of free will. It refers to a hypothetical situation wherein an ass that is equally hungry and thirsty is placed precisely midway between a stack of hay and a pail of water. Since the paradox assumes the ass will always go to whichever is closer, it will die of both hunger and thirst since it cannot make any rational decision to choose one over the other.”

Shall I or shan’t I? What can go wrong? How much can I lose, and, if I fail, what will people say? I’ll look like an ASS.

Well, actually, you’ll BE an ass if you can’t make up your mind and continue to miss great opportunities that are customarily averse to knocking twice. And I’m not suggesting you leap, like a rabid monkey from opportunity to opportunity, moving on to the next one before you give the present one a smidgen of a chance to mature. That’s equally childish.

While we do learn from our failures, many people seem to think that the more defeats they can amass, the better they can justify writing off any chance of building real wealth and settle for a regular job, thereby guaranteeing a life of mediocrity, quiet desperation, debt, and, often, seething discontent.

Here’s what I suggest:

First, create the specific criteria for your choice. Include your risk tolerance, remembering that one should never risk more than one is prepared to/can afford to lose, that nothing lasts forever, and that everything is risky. Also, where your strengths can be leveraged and your weaknesses covered by a system. And, of course, look for something you’re truly passionate about, something you really believe in.

Second, is there enough potential income to warrant your hard work and real commitment?

Third, can you use leverage and collaboration in this endeavor?

Fourth, do you like, trust, and admire the people you’re getting involved with? This is probably the most important part. I seek out people who are wealthier, better connected, smarter, more motivated, and more successful than I am to associate with. Do they share my values? Are they honest? Reliable? Do I enjoy spending time with them?

THEN TAKE ACTION! COMMIT! Stay with it! Remember von Goethe’s words:

Until one is committedthere is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.

Robin Elliott

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