Monday, April 9, 2012

When to Quit?

It is said that the what separates the winners from the losers is the fact that the winners don't quit. This is obviously an idiotically simplistic thing to say. Just look at all the imbeciles on TV who sell themselves trying to get into the public eye who just won't give it a break. Those people should have quit a long time ago to spare themselves the shame.

And we also have those old athletes and competitive performers who stick around way too long in their respective crafts who seem to have never heard the phrase "quit while you're ahead". They just tax themselves (and everyone watching them) trying to compete with the more virile succeeding generation.

Nobody wants to be like those American Idol performers who can't sing but think they can. Or like the Republican presidential candidates who think they actually have a chance of being elected when a black guy is running against them. They only embarrass themselves. So the question is not if you should quit as much as it is when you should quit.

Here are a few bits of information I have discovered concerning quitting.

1. Set a specific goal to achieve in a certain time. If you don't achieve it, quit. Learn from your failure. Move on; don't stagnate in a dead dream. We must always keep moving.

2. Know the cost of failure. If you cannot survive the worst possible outcome, then quit. Right. Now. Anything can happen, and you must never gamble what you cannot afford to lose. Because you will lose eventually. 

3. Know the cost of success. Are you prepared to do what it takes to reach your goal? Do you want the end result enough to justify the sacrifices you make now? If not, then you are just wasting your time. Not every goal is worth it. Decide carefully where your true passion lies.

4. Be reasonable in your perspective. Is the thing for which you pine truly obtainable? Do you have the raw ability to get it done? Save dreams for when you sleep. Don't waste your life chasing after things you can never reach. Because when you realize that you can never reach them, the despair will crush you like nothing else can.  

5. Understand when to not quit. Discomfort alone is never a good reason to quit, because discomfort and pain are a part of life. You will experience those no matter what you do. Pushing through this discomfort can often lead to growth. Likewise, don't let negative emotion spawned in certain places of your life determine what you do concerning your goals. Just because your dog died or your boyfriend broke up with you doesn't mean you should give up practicing piano for those tryouts. Keep a clear head and remember your values.

Quitting something doesn't often feel good--at least not as good as starting something, and definitely not as good as finishing something. But there is an art to quitting and turning away from harmful trails. And it is an art I think more people need to learn.

Cheers, Aubrey. This was inspired by a recent post of yours. My blessings in whatever path you choose.  

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