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SATURDAY SAGE: 7 Good Things About Skillful Quitting

Quitting is pathetic, impulsive, and caving in. It results in a storm of defeat.  Or at least that’s what people think. 

Familiar stories:

The myths of quitting are nothin’ but a bunch of baloney!

Get ready. Skillful quitting rocks your world.

Skillful Quitting:

“Of all the strategies, to know when to quit is the best”.  Chinese Proverb

The myths of quitting show up unexpectedly.  They stymie you from moving forward.  Skillful quitting is the bravest decision of your life. 

Chasing your passion too long is wasteful. Originally passion was associated with pain and suffering. Don’t let passion harm you.  

People applaud grit and determination, but these skills are suspect when making life decisions. 

“I’m not a quitter,” is risky business. Stubbornness blocks your willingness to quit. Lurking behind stubbornness, you find vanity and arrogance.

More is lost in victory than defeat.

7 Good things about skillful quitting:

  1. Freedom to pursue new directions
  2. You realize that your “passion” was only an interest in something
  3. You admit that it’s not working
  4. Frustration vanishes
  5. Self-confidence returns
  6. New decisions are energizing
  7. Abandon your one-track mind

4 Myths:

Myth #1:

“Winners never quit, and quitters never win.” – author unknown

Winners are the very best at quitting.  Losers lose because they aren’t willing to quit. You wanna win?  Then don’t be afraid to cash in your chips and ask for a new hand.

Myth #2:

“If you quit once, it becomes a habit.  Never quit!!!”  ― Michael Jordan

Skillful quitting isn’t habitual quitting. It’s a line in the sand that says it’s time to change direction. You won’t know when, but skillful quitters know why it’s time to change.

Myth #3:

“It’s always too soon to quit!” ― Norman Vincent Peale

Don’t let grit fool you.  Skillful quitting is the fastest route to new discoveries. 

Blind determination is a crap shoot. Explore quitting when you feel irrelevant, boredom fills your day, goals keep changing, and you constantly feel worn out.

Myth #4:

“Quitting is the only failure.” ― Brajesh Kumar Singh

Stubborn attitudes are harmful. 

When a new attitude shows up, skillful quitting usually deserves the credit.

Holding on for too long brings negative results. There are times when quitting is the right thing to do.

“Behind the most impressive résumés there will be a litany of set-backs, direction changes, and moments of doubt.” — Christian Jarrett

Sage advice:

If you insist on knowing all the results before you quit, then don’t.

I (Stan) got a call from a longtime friend.  He said, “My son is failing most of his college classes.  All he wants to do is play his guitar.  Will you please tell him that the music thing can happen after he finishes his degree?” My response was not what he wanted to hear. 

I said, “He should quit tomorrow and go to a school where he can major in guitar.”

He was trying to convince his son to put his soul on hold until he finished college.  Terrible, terrible advice.  Skillful quitting allowed his son to find a college that suited his talent.

Protect your soul. The other stuff will fall in line.

Image source: WC FIELDS

Skillful quitting reflection:

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.  Then quit.  There’s no point in being a fool about it.”   Attributed to W.C. Fields

What happened when you didn’t have the courage to quit?

Who do you know who needs to quit? How can you start a conversation that could change their life?

Still curious:

4 Things You Need to Quit Now

3 Reasons Why Quitting is an Essential Skill

This post is a collaboration between Dan Rockwell and Stan Endicott.

Note: I relax my 300 word limit on weekends.

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