It’s not pessimism. It’s being prepared.

Even if bad luck strikes, you can be ready with ideas for how to get the better of it. And, if you believe the psychology, it could even put you in a good mood.
  • More on the study conducted by a team of psychologists from the Universities of Chicago and Cologne here. I notice that they refer to obstacles here as anticipated “temptations” which seems like a different category from external obstacles/snafus such as Phelps encountered with his goggle leak, but there are still transferable insights, I think.
  • making it across the finish line
  • live events (esp. ones relying on technology)
  • “performance”-type work
  • work that includes participants with a range of tech access/fluency
  • high-stakes, single-opportunity projects involving evaluations or judging
  1. Visualize the event or performance path imagining any obstacles or “temptations” that could get in the way of finishing
  2. List each obstacle/challenge and envision a solution for each one
  3. Prepare these solutions in advance of when they could occur, and have a plan in your mind of how you’ll handle it



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Sarah Campbell

Sarah Campbell

I write about the beginning, middle, and finish of self-directed projects. More at Finish It: