Measure Twice – Cut Once

I hate making mistakes

It took me a long time to get to the place where I could even own up to my mistakes rather than passing the blame on to someone or something else

I still pass the buck from time to time but for the most part I’ve learnt that it’s to my benefit to own up to the mistakes I make because as cliched as it may sound, it’s the only way to truly learn and grow 

That said, most of the mistakes I make and have made are often very avoidable if I only took the time to plan a little better, think my actions through a little longer and perhaps consult trusted people around me

“bro, don’t invest so much money with this guy, you haven’t even seen any returns on the previous money you gave him” Anthony my friend had wisely counselled me – I didn’t listen

I was young and living at home, not into fashion or going clubbing but very much into making headway in life and had a lot of disposable income. So here was this guy, a family friend I met, telling me that through stock trading he could multiply my investments in a matter of months

I didn’t research, hardly inquired further before blindly giving away thousands upon thousands over a one and a half year period, why? because ‘a fool and his gold are so easily parted” as Benjamin Franklin put it

This guy was way older than me, supporting a family supposedly off the back of his trading and also a family friend so why wouldn’t I trust him?


Needless to say I never got any of my money or so called profits from this guy and had to walk away. I took pride in the fact that I walked away without demanding anything from him, i didn’t blow things up as I could of, in fact in that whole scenario, that was probably the most selfless thing I did

But selflessness doesn’t always equal wisdom or maturity, let alone standing up for yourself and for what is right

Just because you don’t like confrontation doesn’t mean you should live life not confronting things. It’s a part of life, you will have to do it at some point or be ready to be consistently walked over, time and time again

When carpenters would use this rule of measuring twice and cutting once, it saved them from unnecessary mistakes that would reduce the amount of resources they had at their disposal

If you cut the wood at the wrong section, it effectively makes the new dimensions unusable which means you have to start again and you end up using more resources for one job than you previously planned for. Same goes for fabric designers and sewers, they have to be so meticulous in their planning and measuring of their resources to make sure that none of it goes to waste

Yet I have the most important resource at my disposal and I continuously fail to do any sort of measuring before cutting


My life is the most precious commodity, resource and gift that I will ever possess and yet I don’t measure my days before spending them. I don’t factor in all the things that will require my time and assess whether those things are worthy of my time or not before allowing them to take up space in my life

“if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” – I don’t know who first said that but cliches become so for a reason….because they’re most often true and applicable in most, if not all situations

Measuring twice means doing the due diligence and making contingencies before you even take the first action

This is not to encourage those that feel safe with the endless planning and thinking of ideas and dreams without ever doing anything about it – no – if you find yourself in that category, know this, you’ve planned enough – take action then reassess where things are then take action again

No, I’m talking to people like myself who are very comfortable taking action but can often be too impatient to do the pre-work prior to taking said action

I’ll tell you as honestly as I can: you wont get any way far with that as a strategy, at least from personal experience I have found this to be the case

There is no point developing a product in its entirety if you haven’t done the research (measuring) around target audience, market demand, pricing etc, thats how people end up with products that nobody buys because they failed to do the research that would have told them that nobody wants what you think they should want

Some of us end up in relationships that cost us dearly in the long run all because in the short term we didn’t do the due diligence of measuring a persons character before cutting (what does that rhyme with?) with them

“you know, deep down I guess I already knew they weren’t right for me” is something I’ve personally said and heard from others too many times. Then why the hell did you pursue a connection with someone you ultimately knew wasn’t right for you?

The real answer to that is as varied and unique as each person reading this but generically speaking I think we often fail to adequately measure and size up the people that present themselves as potential partners because we’re afraid to miss out (FOMO)

Our criteria for partners are flawed – correction – MY criteria for a partner is flawed. I know this now. Yes, I’m a man and yes I’m attracted to a pretty face, great curves and a beautiful behind (did I mention I’m black…not stereotyping…just saying) but what kind of criteria is that?

Firstly, its pretty offensive to any woman of class who definitely does not want to be objectified (sorry ladies) and secondly there is no consideration for whether the person has character, personality, is trustworthy, honest – nothing

In my experience, if all you have to go by is how something looks, then news flash: you’re going to be horribly disappointed

A beautiful face does not equate to inner beauty, an in shape physical figure does not equate to an emotionally and mentally in shape (stable) person either

So I’ve learned (rather painfully) to improve my criteria and actually be a person of substance myself because I’m a strong believer that we often (not always) attract that which we already are

So if I’m shallow and lacking substance, guess what kind of people (romantic or otherwise) I’m going to bring into my life?

Same goes for careers: measure twice and think through all your options before making a commitment

The second greatest thing that I have failed to measure adequately, aside from my very life is myself (I’m not as self centred as I’m making it sound right now, i promise)

Think about it

Have you truly taken the time to accurately measure who you are?

Your mate, your income, your occupation, friendship group and social standing are all a reflection of how you measure yourself

Failing to measure properly has caused me to put up with things that now looking back, I should never have done.

Measure your worth and know this – whatever you think you’re worth – double it because most people tend to undervalue and undersell themselves.

I’m not talking about developing an inflated ego

“I will be the GREATEST president this nation has ever seen” Donald Trump said – right…..okay

No, I’m talking about measuring your weaknesses too and acknowledging that yes you do have them and yes you also have many great strengths and then once you have a clear picture of what you are truly worth – observe your life… this all that someone of your caliber is capable of?

Don’t overestimate and certainly don’t underestimate either – hence the measuring before the cutting

it will save you from thinking you can take on way more than you are presently capable of as well as saving you from never aiming high enough

Nobody in life is mediocre – if you’re reading this then I can honestly say I know something about you….you have greatness within, many of you are displaying it without too

I know this because I’m convinced of the fact that everybody has something that is breathtaking about them, something that they bring to the table that is unique enough for the rest of the world to want it

And if everybody else has greatness within them then, well, the person I see in the mirror everyday must have it too

Rebels measure twice, thrice if need be before cutting once and I promise this: when you eventually cut, you will cut deep – enough said


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