Quitting is for Winners!

April 8th, 2010

No one likes a quitter. Quitters are losers, right? In fact, one of the worst things you can be called is a quitter. In fact, when I did a little search for the word “quit” in the thesaurus, here are some of the terms that popped up:

  • Drop out
  • Give up
  • Forsake
  • Surrender
  • Yield

None of those words seem to scream SUCCESS to me. Don’t you think so? But look at these words, and see what you think:

  • overcame adversity
  • persevere
  • carry on
  • endure
  • stand firm
  • hang tough

and my personal favorite: DIE HARD

Now, those words seem to be the marks of SUCCESS, especially the last one—it did wonders for the career of Bruce Willis.

I mean think of all the stories you hear about people who fought through the tough times and became successful. They didn’t quit.  If you hang tough, you WILL succeed, right?

Well, I don’t buy it. Even though quitting is not something we should make a habit of, I think quitting can be perfectly acceptable for some situations. Just as I hate the cliché “failure is not an option”, the fact is failure most certainly is an option—sometimes a great option.  So, is quitting.  In fact, I think quitting can be the BEST SOLUTION. How many times have you found yourself in a bad situation, but just didn’t want to quit. Because to quit meant failure. But quitting does NOT equal failure. In fact, fact quitting can equal success.

Quitting in Action

I’ll give two examples from my personal life that I consider successes.

1. Quitting smoking

I’ve written about this before. And I think most people would agree that quitting smoking is a GOOD thing. But it is quitting nonetheless. So, I thought I’d put it out there to generate some goodwill toward the “quitting” attitude.

2. Quitting my business

Having your own business. Ahhh…the American Dream. The Dream life. Set your own hours. Work for yourself. No one tells you what to do…

…yeah, right.

Anyone who tells you that has never run their own business. But business owners know better. You work 80 hours a week, hustle your behind off to get new clients, while everyone is telling you how lucky you are.

Yes, owning your own business is good. And some people love the feeling of having your own business. But I quit my business to come back to Korea and work for one reason:

Because I wanted to.

Yep. I knew the business was not making me happy. I was not happy in my life. And my business required me to make compromises that I no longer wanted to make. So, I quit.

I don’t consider it courageous or noble to give up anything. Just as it is not courageous or noble to stay stuck in a bad situation. Some people believe that, but I don’t.

But I knew what was best for me. I was faced with staying in something I no longer wanted to do, or do what I wanted to do. It wasn’t an easy decision, but the timing was right. If I didn’t make the decision when I did, I might never have done it.

The result is that I am a much happier and satisfied person, and I was able to start this blog.  If some of those “you

Re-a-loser-if-you-have-a job guys don’t like it—who cares?  I don’t live my life for other people—and neither should you.

Maybe, I’ll start a business later. But not now. The one thing about quitting is that you can always start again when you want.

Why we are so hesitant to quit

I believe there are cultural reasons against quitting. But more than that, I think the more time you invest in something the less likely you are to quit it even though everything around you is telling you to quit.

This goes for people stuck in a bad job.

People stuck in a bad relationship.

And so on and so on.

We many times feel that quitting something after investing so much time into something makes us a failure. But I don’t see it that way.

There is nothing wrong with reassessing your situation and changing course. That’s life. And that’s how you develop. Sometimes you will need to stay the course. But once you find yourself in a bad situation that leads to nowhere, then the answer is simple: QUIT.

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