Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Here was the question:  I’m not sure what I’m doing is really the right path for me but I’m not a quitter. Do you have any thoughts?

– – – – – – – – – –

Never, never, never quit. Famous words…. Bad advice.

Well, sometimes bad advice… but most people spout that like it’s the golden rule of success. What should have been said, and most likely what was meant was "never quit something just because it’s hard as long as the outcome is truly beneficial". In reality, QUITTING is a necessary skill and is an integral part of success in life, business, relationships and spiritual growth.

Good advice is this: learn WHEN to quit, and WHEN NOT to quit. Both are equally valuable skills. Most people quit because they can’t take the short term discomfort or don’t want to pay the price for the goal. That is BAD quitting. However, some people stick it out no matter what simply for the pride of not quitting even when they are headed down a dead-end street. That’s BAD not-quitting.

It Takes Courage to Know When to Quit

Maturity, courage and discernment require us to quit anything that is not going to help us reach the final worthy destination. We also must learn to recognize when the destination is not worthy of the perseverance. In either case, it takes courage to QUIT, and the longer we hold out, the more collateral damage. When we come to the realization that either the final destination is wrong, or our current effort won’t get us to a worthy destination, it takes REAL courage to quit, and quit fast. A lot of people don’t quit though because they don’t want to admit they were wrong, don’t want to endure the pain of quitting, don’t want the uncertainty of quitting, and don’t want to face other’s criticism.

We don’t have to say much about BAD quitters. It speaks for itself. Bad Quitters quit because they are lazy, undisciplined, uncommitted… it originates in all sorts of bad character flaws. You can sum up bad quitting in one phrase: unwilling to pay the price to achieve a worthy end. It’s uncomfortable, hard, "no fun". Quitting is always wrong in this sense and the "never, never, never quit" applies.

Three Reasons To Quit

  1. You realize what you are trying to achieve is either genuinely unachievable, or not worth achieving
  2. Changes in circumstances make it legitimately impossible to continue or make progress
  3. You are forced to compromise your integrity or relationships to achieve the result

Three Reasons NOT to Quit

  1. Don’t quit because of short term difficulty or it’s just too hard
  2. Don’t quit because of criticism from others or naysayers
  3. Don’t quit based on feelings; make sure you have wise, objective, mature outside advice

[TIPJAR]When you are considering quitting, ask yourself, "Is this a knee jerk reaction to stress or circumstance"? Are you panicking? Are you simply trying to fix the current pain? If yes, step back and ask someone to help you objectively evaluate the situation. If you are considering quitting, make sure you know why. Is it because you aren’t making real progress? Is it because you are seeing success fast enough? Is it because other people are throwing cold water on your dream?

Or is it because of very real reasons that point to "good quitting" such as lack of real progress (and no chance to see any), a change of market conditions or personal situation?

In the end, don’t quit impulsively. Equally important, don’t do the "never, never, never quit" routine out of pride, stubbornness or ignorance. There is bad quitting, and good quitting. Real success is knowing the difference.

What are your questions for me? Leave a comment about one example you’ve had of good quitting, and one mistake you made of bad quitting.