“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then give up. There’s no use in being a damn fool about it.”
— W.C. Fields
I recently purchased an HP Office Jet Pro printer which I mostly use for scanning and an occasional print job. Setup, including connecting to Wi-Fi, was easy except for one thing. I’m unable to print from my PC. However I can scan and my wife (who also has a Windows 10 PC) can print. It bugs me that she can but I can’t. So I set about fixing my problem.
But after 3 days of trying everything short of offering a sacrifice to the tech gods, I reached a point where the path forward was dangerous. I’m talking about making low level changes that might work or might blow up my PC. So before I went any further, I hit the pause button. Scanning, my top requirement, works. As for printing, which I do infrequently, I discovered a work around. I can send myself an email with an attachment. I can print the attachment from my phone using HP’s Smart app. It’s not as quick and convenient as printing from my PC, but it works.
If I continue trying to fix my printing problem there’s a huge risk of making things worse due to Murphy’s Law (anything that can go wrong will) and the Law of Unintended Consequences (continued efforts to fix something tend to lead to unanticipated and undesirable outcomes). I hate to quit but there are times when it’s best to know when to fold ‘em and walk away.
Knowing When to Fold ‘Em Also Applies to Personal Finances
- Don’t hold onto investments that are under water in hopes of recapturing losses, aka the sunk cost fallacy. What really matters is “what’s the best use of that money going forward”? Usually it means finding a better investment opportunity.
- If work makes you absolutely miserable consider taking a break. It’s something my wife did and she has zero regrets. Her break led to a better relationship with work and more income. You can read about her experience in “Why Claire’s Career Break Was a Great Move”.
- Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. Comparing yourself to others only focuses you on what you don’t have which leads to bad spending decisions and eventually too much debt. It’s better to be content and grateful for what you do have.
These are few examples of know when to fold ’em that I came up with. What comes to mind for you?