Better The Devil You Know When you don’t Know

For a long time, I’ve heard many variations of the phrase “I know John can be difficult to work with sometimes, but better the devil you know!”  which can be translated into this: “it is better to deal with a person or thing you know, even if you do not like them, than to deal with a new person or thing who could be even worse”

Now normally we get to this situation when we’re facing a delicate decision that includes 2 options or paths, One that you’ve been into before, and one that is completely new to you. At this point, which one to choose? 

Well it all depends on the situation, but let me help you a bit… Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Is it a Decision that will affect your life/business on the long run?
  2. Is it a Decision that is related to people? (like working with someone or even marrying someone?)
  3. Is it a Decision that would impact what you always dreamed of? (a Career path? Starting your own Business… )

Based on some surveys we’ve done, below are the most common answers:

#1: If it’s on the long run, people would stick with what they know (Buying a House, Relocating)… If it’s something for the short term, more people are likely to take the risk (like trying out a new cleaning product or a new restaurant… etc)

#2: If it’s related to people; Well this can be Tricky as PEOPLE DO CHANGE… some for the better and some for the worst; and it’s really difficult to Bet on what they will turn into… so the Risk here is 50 / 50 … and so were the answers we got… Almost by half, people preferred to stick the ones they already are used to (despite their “flaws” – irrespective of the degree of severeness of their flaws ) than to be involved with a new “devil”, while the other half preferred to take the risk and check out new people.

#3: Have you ever wanted to quit your Job and start your own business? wanted to Shift careers? Needed to do a Major Change in your Life? if So, then your Risk is higher when you take the action than to stay where you are right now… But Hey! it’s your dream, and the rewards are way higher than what you think if you stay where you are… So most of the candidates “Said” that they prefer the Devil they don’t know… but couldn’t give a clear answer if they would still go through with it or not… (Scared Right? :P)

Now here’s your Tip for this week, 

When you don’t know… Then stick to the Devil you know. It’s Safe, Less Risky and you’ll feel more comfortable on the short term… But When things are clear to you about what you want and where you want to be, and it’s Risky and you’re scared! then By all means Go and Get to know your New Devil who might turn out to be lovely and fun to be with. And on the long run, you’ll be more satisfied than disappointed irrespective of the outcome.

I’d like to quote the following:

“Some Goals are So Worthy, it’s Glorious even to Fail”

Have a great week!

Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the “Influencing the Life of Others” project


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