The Critical Path
People who think that everything is going wrong, are often surprised to realize that everything going wrong is the result of only one fatal error that makes everything else go wrong, and that correcting the one, would make all the others go right -- and not that one has to redo and reinvent the wheel in everything one does.
That is the surprising but hopeful news -- that one has to find the key to everything going right, and not the key to every door -- as though somehow, they are not connected and related to every other. That is the critical path -- that determines the success or failure of every other. It is the assumption that all the others are based upon -- that should have been examined critically and not presumed that one had perfect knowledge to proceed.
It is always the simplest and most basic assumption -- that one has gotten wrong -- that threatens the most elaborate of theories and explanations resulting in confusion and disaster, in even the simplest of activities and executions. Often, it is attention to the beginning and the end, while paying no attention to the process in between -- and whether that made a real difference. That is frequently the case when one thinks the mere passage of time is sufficient to make a difference -- while not inquiring whether any processing actually took place in that interim. The most familiar of this occurrence, is when a machine one has used reliably for quite some time, no longer works -- yet one is not aware of that passing.
They merely expect that after 30 minutes, the clothes will be washed, or the food cooked or chilled, and the clock will still tell the right time -- unfailingly. So in using any machine, or relying on another, one also has to maintain the possibility, that something could go wrong -- even if it hasn't before -- and provide for a backup and failsafe in such an event. The reason for multiple smoke detectors is so that they never all go out at the same time, or are disabled in the same manner -- to use their batteries in a less critical capacity, such as entertainment and recreation. That is a critical failure in judgment -- that leads to no further other.
Yet a few people do such things -- as ride a bicycle on a dark road, wearing dark clothes and no lighting -- and expecting somebody else to see them, and assure their safety. Such people are disasters waiting to happen -- but way before then, are the many signals along the way before the final rupture. They'll take care of it -- after it happens, and so it invariably does, and all their hopes and dreams that it never does, are shattered in that instance.
There is no failsafe provision against things going wrong. It is merely hoped that they never do. Time after time, such people are disappointed -- that there is just one critical factor missing that would have changed everything -- and they are just that one missing link from perfect understanding and execution, getting from here to there. That is the critical path -- that makes all the difference, while everything else, makes much less of a difference.
That is what they have to determine -- as the most important thing to do. Failing to make that discrimination, will keep them wandering in the wilderness for all their days. Many even pride themselves that they are incapable of making any discrimination -- as though that was a badge of distinguished accomplishment. That means they are totally dependent on others to tell them what to think -- because they have never been thought how to think -- for themselves.
They are merely rewarded for the correctness of their answers -- and knowing the right people to follow in this respect -- as though knowing that, was truth itself. So one asks, how do I know, what I think I do? Was it just a falsehood planted in my memory that is beyond my asking? That is the root of all one's difficulties and problems. That is the critical path one dare not trod.
But asking that one question, is the key to life -- and all its answers.