On Quitting

“Winners never quit and quitters never win!”  Really?  We’ve all been taught not to quit, and that quitting is failure, but I don’t think that necessarily true.

What if you are in a job, career, business endeavor, or educational pursuit that you realize isn’t going to take you where you want to go in life?  Should you continue on, knowing it’s not what you’re excited or passionate about, or should you quit and pursue something that’s a better fit for you?  I don’t think there is anything noble about sticking with something that you know isn’t working or that you know won’t lead to success.  If that’s the case, I say quit.  Immediately!

However, I don’t want to make a blanket statement that says we should always quit.  If for example, we’re pursuing an endeavor that we’re passionate about and that will take us toward the goals we’ve set for ourselves, we should stick with it.  Often when we start something new, the beginning stages are fun and exciting.  But soon the excitement wears off and it’s time to start doing the hard work to cause something to happen in order to be successful.  At this point we shouldn’t quit, but rather apply our efforts to get through the challenging work to get started.  This NOT the time to quit.

When considering whether or not to quit, we should ask ourselves some questions like:

  • Is this path I’m considering quitting going to take me where I want to go in life and help me achieve the goals I’ve laid out for myself?
  • Am I quitting just because it’s getting hard?
  • Could I be more effective/fulfilled/successful doing something else?
  • Will my increased or continued efforts cause me to be successful?

Give yourself honest answers to these questions, as they will help you determine your course of action.

Is there anything currently in your life that you need to consider quitting or stop giving thought to quitting?  If so, ask yourself the tough questions, make your decision, and take action.  You’ll either be freed up to pursue something more fulfilling, or you’ll put yourself in a position to refocus your efforts to move ahead.

Don’t delay.  Your future awaits!

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Your Puzzle-Box Picture

I’m not a huge fan of jigsaw puzzles, but I am fascinated by the process of putting one together.  You start with all these little pieces, a box top with a picture of what the puzzle is supposed to look like, and then you get to work.  First, you may begin looking for the corner pieces or any piece with a flat edge so you can frame in the picture with the boarder.  From there, maybe you look for all the pieces with the same color as a feature in the picture, so you can get that section put together.  Eventually, many of the pieces get connected and the picture starts to come into view and look exactly like the picture on the puzzle box.

What’s most interesting about the puzzle assembling process is how much time is spent looking at the picture on the puzzle box.  We constantly glance at it in order to get a clear picture (literally!) of what the finished product is going to look like.  We use that picture to guide us in the process.

The picture on the puzzle box reminds me of our goals and the life we desire for ourselves.  Our goals and desires, much like the picture on the puzzle box do several things for us:

  • They guide us and influences our decisions
  • They keep us focused and mindful of what we’re pursuing
  • They help us clearly see where we are going, even though we are not there yet

Imagine trying to put a puzzle together without having a picture to reference.  It would be extremely challenging without having the desired goal that the picture on the box provides.

Now imagine a life without goals, desires, or aspirations.  How would you know where you’re going or what kind of life you want if you didn’t have a clear “picture” of the life you are trying to create?  How would you know if /when you got there? How would you know if you’re on track or if your efforts are making a difference as you move along life’s path?

Do you have a “puzzle box” picture of your goals and purpose for your life clearly in your mind?  In your attempts to cause something to happen, do you clearly understand where you want your actions to take you?  Begin today either creating or clarifying the puzzle box picture of how you’d like your life to be, and then look at it often.  It will bring clarity, direction, and purpose as you assemble the puzzle of the life you desire.

Do the Things That Are Easy to Do

We tend to think greatness and big achievements come from huge effort and doing things that are hard to do.  Actually, the effort and degree of difficulty it takes to achieve something significant is usually quite small… and easy.  More important than the degree of effort, is the consistency of the small effort that’s put forth doing the things that are easy to do.

Suppose we have a goal of losing 20lbs.  There is not Herculean effort you can make in one day that would enable you to lose those pounds.  Instead, what’s required is doing things that are easy to do, and then doing them on a consistent basis over a period of time, like eating smaller portions, drinking fewer sugary beverages, and getting your heart rate up every day.  These aren’t difficult things to do. In fact, they are rather easy!  What we need is to do them every day and we are practically guaranteed to see results, as long as we are consistent.

The results may not come not come right away.  In the beginning, it may not feel like your efforts are even making a difference.  However, if we consistently do these easy things, we will begin to see results.  Probably sooner than we think!

The problem is that these small things that are easy to do are also easy NOT to do.  It’s easy not to exercise.  It’s also easy not to have a glass of water, but to have a soda instead.  The truth is that you won’t really notice if you exercise or not… at least today.  However, after several months or years of drinking soda instead of water and failing to exercise, you will notice.

The point is that the things we need to do to cause something to happen that we desire in our lives, like lose weight, build wealth, start a business, or improve our relationships, are actually quite easy.  They just need to be done consistently over a period of time.

What easy things do you need to begin doing consistently over time in order to take your life in the direction you want to go?  What would you be able to achieve by doing so?

For more on this topic, I’d recommend reading The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson.  The concept and principles are so simple and so effective.  We need only apply them to see significant results.

Unnecessary Roadblocks

I’m surprised at how easily I can unknowingly put limits on myself that rob me of the opportunity to engage in new life experiences.  For example, when someone presents me with an opportunity to try something new, or to take a course of action that is different from my normal mode of operation, occasionally, before I finish thinking about it, I hear my own voice telling the other person why it won’t work or why it’s a bad idea.  Sometimes this occurs seemingly automatic.  This is not a tendency that I want to take root and become a habit in my life.

Why do we put limits on ourselves lives this?  Living out of fear, playing it safe, or staying in our comfort zone is no way to live a vibrant, fulfilling life we desire.

I’m becoming very mindful of this tendency in my life.  So now,  when I recognize it, I immediately acknowledge it and purposely examine my response to determine if it is coming out of fear or a desire to stay within my comfort zone, versus a legitimate concern.  If it’s a legitimate concern, I act accordingly.  However, if I find I’m acting out of fear or complacency, I’ve begun asking myself what I’m afraid of, or why I’m so reluctant to say yes.  I also remind myself that I’m someone who likes to shake up the routine, and here is a great opportunity to do so.

I also realize that this tendency has caused me to miss out on some experiences I probably would have enjoyed.  As I look back, I’ve always been glad when I’ve gone against this tendency of putting unnecessary limits on myself.  And each time I do, my resolve becomes stronger to continue to do so in the future.

Is this a tendency you occasionally face?  If so, be on the lookout for it, so when it occurs, you can cause something to happen by stopping yourself from placing unnecessary roadblocks on your path to the abundant life.