The Myth of the Magic Bullet: 7 Things to Do When Progress is Slow

The path forward is iterative. Proposed solutions don’t magically work on the first try, or the tenth.

A desire for easy solutions invites disappointment.


Edison said, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”

You believed your approach was useful. But your good idea was irrelevant. Failing to make progress – when you hoped things would change – feels worse than stagnation.

Learning what doesn’t work is unglamorous, but necessary.

When you stop doing what isn’t working you have energy to try something new.


You never intentionally choose stupid, but ignorance makes stupid seem smart. You did the thing you thought best. It didn’t work.

Henry Ford nailed it when he said, “Failure provides the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently.”

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