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What is the Law Of Holes?

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The law of holes is an adage that states "if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging." It relates well to the sunk costs bias whereby people tend to continue with a strategy or project that isn't working in an attempt to recover their investment. It also relates to resistance to change that cause societies, organizations and individuals to continue with destructive strategies.

Trough Of Sorrow

Although the logic of the adage is indisputable, in real world situations it can be difficult to tell if you're digging yourself into a hole or making a productive investment. It is common for initiatives to begin in optimism, followed by a painful period of intense work and problems. This period, known as the trough of sorrow, can last for years and appear to be endless. In some cases, the trough of sorrow ends in success. In other cases, a hole is really just a hole.
Overview: Law Of Holes
Type
Definition
The adage "if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging."
Value
The realization that it's always possible to quit a failing strategy and begin again.
Origin
The first known appearance of the analogy appeared in an article on page 6 of the October 25, 1911 addition of The Washington Post.
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