Quitters never win and winners never quit. That’s a saying you may have heard before. I’d like to challenge that. I understand the importance of teaching children the lesson of persistance and sticktoitiveness, but we aren’t children anymore.
We are adults learning to live life with intention and purpose. Sometimes a life like that requires quitting. Let go of the guilt and find the value in ending something so you begin something else. Consider that the journey may be more important than the finish line.
10 things you should quit today:
1. Reading. If you are an avid reader, you probably read a book from front to back, even when the book is not very good. What if you quit after chapter 5? No one is hurt because you stopped reading, and you just created a block of time to read something you like better.
2. Watching. How many bad movies have you sat through in your life? Why? Because you thought it would get better? Because you spent money? Because you still had a box of Junior Mints to get through? Spend your time more thoughtfully. If the movie is bad, excuse yourself and do something else, or nothing at all.
3. Fixing people. You may want to change the world, but it is not your job to save or fix everyone or anyone you meet. Love deeply and give freely, but don’t hold yourself responsible for another person’s choices.
4. Learning something. If you are taking a course that you hate, or are working towards a degree that doesn’t make sense for what you want your life to be like, switch gears. The skills you acquire along the way will matter. You don’t have to prove to anyone that you can finish.
5. Your job. Just because you are really good at what you do, doesn’t mean that is what you are supposed to do. Quitting a job takes more planning than quitting a book, but it can be done. I quit a job I was really good at. I walked away from a 15 year career and now I wake up happy every day. I sleep better. I look forward to doing good work instead of hard work. I live in joy instead of dread.
6. Being comfortable. It’s easy to get comfortable, but often the answers are in discomfort. When you get uncomfortable, stay there for a bit instead of retreating to comfort.
7. Comparing. If you measure your worth by how you stack up to others, you will lose everytime. A life of comparison becomes one of competition. Choose to collaborate and create instead of comparing and competing and let the magic happen.
8. Saying yes. If you are pleasing everyone but yourself, it might be time to start saying no. “No thank you.” works almost every time.
9. Protecting yourself. You may want to play it safe and protect yourself, but I would suggest that you might be missing something. Be vulnerable. Be open. Face fear. Really live.
10. Trying to make it work. In a yoga class I took this weekend, while I was hanging out in a pose that made my legs shake, the instructor suggested backing off and letting go to fully appreciate the pose. Not just in a yoga pose, but in day to day life, sometimes to go deeper, you have to let go instead of try harder. All that pushing, reworking and forcing might set you back.
This isn’t permission to give up or quit when the going gets tough or things aren’t going your way. This is permission to quit something that does not add value to your life and takes you away from doing meaningful work and living a happy life. This is permission to choose.
I’ve quit so many things over the past 10 years and feel better than ever. I did make the mistake of sitting through a bad movie Friday night. What made it even worse though is that instead of trying to find anything good about it, I kept thinking about why I wasn’t walking out.
This intentional life on purpose stuff is a work in progress and the work is never finished. Quit trying to wrap it up, speed it up, or arrive at your destination. Appreciate that you are right where you are supposed to be.