There is an old joke that goes: After one of the catastrophic hurricanes that hit the coast of America, a news crew was cruising the area looking for stories. They came across a guy who was sitting on the rooftop of his home. Water was rushing by the house halfway up to the roof. The camera crew reached the man and started asking questions about his dilemma. As they were talking, they noticed that a hat floated down to the property line and then abruptly turned back and went to the opposite property line. Then it did it again and again. The reporter was dumbfounded. When he asked the homeowner what he thought it was, he said: “Aw, ain’t no big deal. That’s Jeb. He said he was going to mow his yard come hell or high water.”

How many of us do the Jeb thing? We do things that make absolutely no sense because we are determined to make it work? This problem isn’t just mine, is it?

I told a Sales Manager one time that I was like a Pitt Bull. Once I sink my teeth into something I don’t let go. It helped get me the job, but I think that philosophy is flawed if you live in the real world. There is a time to dig in and a time to let go. For us Pitt Bulls, letting go can cause a lot of pain because we can’t admit we bit off more than we could chew, or we bit into the wrong thing.  

If you are a strong-willed person, here is my advice:

  • Learn to let go at the right time. Holding on too long or letting go too soon can cost you. There is a time that is perfect…even for letting go.
  • Letting go does not have to mean you lose. It is a reflection of who and where you are and necessary for survival.
  • If it starts raining and you are mowing, pay attention.
  • Learn the lesson. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

In the words of the great Kenny Rogers, “You gotta know when to hold ‘em. Know when to fold ‘em. Know when to walk away and know when to run.”


Dan Skognes

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