In Robert Rubin's book In An Uncertain World, he suggests that we should not only focus on the outcome of a decision but also the thought process which went into it in order to be able to fairly judge whether it was a good or bad decision. This seems to be a restatement of "The road to hell is paved with good intentions". I am sympathetic to the view but it's just too easy to convince myself that I did everything I could and the best I could. There are corrollaries to this:
1. In Fooled By Randomness, I could just as easily attribute success to ability when it was luck.
2. In Cognitive Dissonance, I can justify being right almost all the time.
The engine that drives self-justification, the energy that produces the need to justify our actions and decisions — especially the wrong ones — is an unpleasant feeling that Festinger called "cognitive dissonance."