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“If plan ‘A’ doesn’t work there are 25 more letters in the alphabet”.*

If, when attempting to get a particular result we fail, the usual option is to try again. Admirable! Everyone admires someone who sticks at it, sees it through… and all the rest. “If at first you don’t succeed”, the saying goes, “then try, try again.”

The problem with this approach is if something isn’t going to work, then trying again can be pretty depressing, so I’d like to see it modified to: “If at first you don’t succeed, then try something different.”

Note

“If plan ‘A’ doesn’t work there are 25 more letters in the alphabet”.

* I can’t take credit for this, a friend heard it from the vice-chancellor of Reading University.

2 Responses to “If Plan ‘A’ Fails…”

  1. Dear Barry, I’m very much enjoying receiving your blog (originally a friend sent them to me). I read your resource sheet with interest and concur with it’s precepts. It did occur to me however, that perhaps it would be apposite to edit ‘discuss with your partner’ as we don’t all have one -just a thought.  Regards,Judy

  2. Thanks for your comment Judy, and your suggestion. You don’t say which post or resource sheet you are referring to (I have written 20-30). If you can let me know, I’ll take a look I’ll qualify the comment to make it clearer.

    Like many people who write, I have an ‘editor’ who sits on my shoulder and nags away at me when I’m about to write something that could offend someone’s sensibilities or be taken in a way I had not intended. Sometimes I ignore it, but mostly I don’t, and sometimes the editor is distracted and misses something.
    It can be that there are so many angles and interpretations to a point I’m trying to make that I’ll cancel the post altogether because I worry that something I’ve said could be understood in a way I hadn’t intended by somebody somewhere. That may have been what happened with ‘discuss with your partner’, my internal editor was distracted.

    I don’t generally use ‘partner’ to mean spouse or life-partner. Resource sheets have been written to be used in my training events, so ‘partner’ means the person someone has chosen to work with in group exercises. If the comment appeared in a post specifically about relationships, then it would mean ‘partner in the interaction’ (as in the case of conflict, for example), or perhaps it was my assumption that slipped in without me noticing. If I did use partner in place of ‘life partner’ I could perhaps have said ‘trusted other’.

    Thanks again and if you could let me know where I wrote the comment I’ll correct my mistake and make the meaning clearer.

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