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Thinking in C++ Vol 2 - Practical Programming
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The point of design patterns, like the point of any abstraction, is to make your life easier. Usually something in your system is changing this could be code during the lifetime of the project, or objects during the lifetime of one program execution. Discover what is changing, and a design pattern may help you encapsulate that change, and thus bring it under control.

It s easy to get infatuated with a particular design, and to create trouble for yourself by applying it just because you know how. What s hard, ironically, is to follow the XP maxim of do the simplest thing that could possibly work. But by doing the simplest thing, you not only get a design that s faster to implement, but also easier to maintain. And if the simplest thing doesn t do the job, you ll find out a lot sooner than if you spend the time implementing something complex, and then find out that doesn t work.

Thinking in C++ Vol 2 - Practical Programming
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   Reproduced courtesy of Bruce Eckel, MindView, Inc. Design by Interspire