Samuel Johnson once observed that the prospect of being hanged wonderfully focuses the mind. You yourself may have found that your mind seems sharpest when you are faced with the greatest difficulties. Desperation often proves you really are better than you think. But with the exception of an immediate threat to your life or health, there are few situations that require instantaneous action. When the world seems to be conspiring against you and nothing is working out right, pause for a few moments to think the situation through — then develop the most appropriate plan of action, the one that has the greatest likelihood of success.