Stop Digging

The saying goes: "If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging". If you happen to find yourself in a situation where you are the only one in the hole then stopping is a great move. All too often the reality is that you are only one member in a team of hard working diggers. Trained since birth to keep their head down and shovel like there's no tomorrow.

You put down your shovel for your guaranteed 15 minute break and take a look up at the failing afternoon sun. You realize you aren't getting anywhere and decide "that's it I'm done digging".

Great! Meanwhile John, Jane, and Jack are digging with a fervor yet uknown to mankind. How do you get them to stop? How do you show them the light? You've stopped digging but that just drives them to dig a little harder to pick up your slack.

You must be lazy right? Standing around trying to leech off the hard work and determination of the other diggers. No.
Lead by example. To stop digging and stand there isn't enough. Instead you need to demonstrate that there is a better way. A path out of this misery.

Develop a plan, break it down into accomplishable steps with visible goals, and follow through. Even if you can't make it all the way out alone you can win a John or Jane over to your cause. At a minimum you are now better off than you were before you started.

Of course occasionally your great solution is perceived as a pipe dream. This is often due to a lack of credibility. Sometimes deserved. Sometimes not. Often you have to put in your time and dig a little bit deeper just to prove your point.