The Return of PACMAN

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Bitten Off More Than


You Could Chew, Eh?



We all do it now and then, but some make a steady diet of taking on too many projects. The end result is never pleasant or rewarding, yet most of us fail to learn the first or second or third or . . . time around.

We tend to either be in situations where we have overwhelmed ourselves or chosen for others to overwhelm us, or somehow put ourselves into overwhelming situations.

Some might argue that they have fallen victim to overwhelming situations.

But you know what?

If we trace the root cause of any over-whelming situation, it will inevitably come back to a conscious or unconscious choice we’ve made somewhere down the road.


So what? Well, we can’t always avoid making bad choices or choices with bad outcomes –and sometimes we might even intentionally elect to put ourselves in the middle of bad choice/bad outcome circumstances– but when we can accept choices as the driving force, we increase the odds of survival and success.

How is that possible?

When we acknowledge and own up to our behavioral choices, we stop making excuses.

We stop sulking.

We stop blaming others, We stop kicking ourselves (because that, of course, is also a choice!).

We stop having tantrums. 

And these actions and awareness’s lead us closer to resolution.


Accepting responsibility for our actions, and for leading ourselves into high pressure situations helps us get on with life quicker than we are able to by wallowing in misery.

I once accepted an offer to write a commissioned memoir about a very prominent, admirable, and likable elderly person in failing health who had led what I thought was a fascinating life. The challenge was hearty. The compensation was fair. The 3-month project turned into 14 months and the degree of engagement multiplied exponentially with each new life path discovery.

For me, research time exceeded writing time by many moons. The project commandeered time away from management and marketing consulting clients, community programs I was developing, and family engagements and contact with friends. Stress arrived at my doorstep dressed in many costumes. But I did it to myself.

 Realizing that I had set myself up for the time crunch didn’t untangle the commitments, but it helped me deal with them more realistically, and all the while (I think!) keep my sanity . 

A friend of mine has a growing family with young children and aging parents. He owns and operates four different, rapidly growing businesses — each with over a hundred employees, sits on three charitable boards of trustees, travels extensively and regularly participates in a variety of favorite outdoor activities. He admits he’s bitten off more than he can chew.

But instead of blaming others or banging his head against a wall, he has engaged his family’s help in consolidating the businesses and finding replacements for the trustee seats he holds from among his employee ranks. He now brings parents and children and spouse along individually and as available on his business trips. They now join him with his outdoor pursuits  . . . and he joins them with theirs! 

The transition is taking time, but PACMAN has stopped eating away at his life. He has turned the corner and found renewed energy. 

You can too! It truly is a matter of choice.


Need a little fresh “Overwhelm-Deactivation” guidance?

Call or email me.     

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302.933.0116     Hal@BusinessWorks.US

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!”   [Thomas Jefferson]

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One Comment to “The Return of PACMAN”

  1. […] deciding they don’t agree with your hard-line stance against raises at a time when the very survival of your business is at stake and, instead of sitting down to talk about it with you, they pile onto buses and leave […]

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