The Art of Quitting

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Do you ever find yourself not completing something you’ve started? We all do it from time to time. The world is very busy and distracting. Most times it’s unintentional you set out to read a book. Everyone has been talking about it and next thing you know it’s been months since you’ve picked it up. Or you start a remodeling project at home that never gets finished. A big one for me was car mods, the last car I sold was no where near where I wanted it to be looks-wise. The car had many half finished projects that I just never got around to working on. Seems like an everyday thing to sidetracked. But did you know quitting something could be both purposeful and useful at the same time?

Let me introduce you to the art form of quitting. So here’s the deal, given the right context, quitting could be the best thing you do for yourself. Why, you ask? Well let’s think about it in your world. Have you ever read a book/article or maybe watched a movie that left you feeling like you wasted your time? What about ate a meal that sucked? You knew part way through that book, article, movie, meal that you were not satisfied. Yet, you finished anyway. That’s weird right? Why do we do that… It’s kind of odd to continue to do something we don’t like. My guess is we don’t want to miss out, be uninformed, or disappoint.

Here’s why you want stop that nonsense…

Every time you read an article, that isn’t serving you, to completion you’re wasting something more valuable than knowledge gained. You’re wasting time, the single most valuable commodity in the world! You’re training yourself to accept being let down in one way or another. That meal that you prepared or paid for is not something you like so why finish it? Because you paid for it? Pfft… doesn’t matter money lost can always be made back, the time wasted cannot. Even if what you read or eat is serving you you waste time when you overindulgence. In the case of food, you pile on unnecessary calories. Learn to say NO!

I get it quitting is a “dirty” word. Still, think about the consequences of continuing when you shouldn’t. Yes and no are the two most powerful words in any language period! By quitting you train yourself to use them effectively. One reason is because the two words are interconnected. For example, when you say yes to reading that book all the way through, you say no to reading another book at that moment. What if book #2 is much more useful than book #1? It takes anywhere from 5 hours to 15 hours to read a book, you only get so many of those hours in a lifetime so use them wisely. Likewise, when you say no to watching that movie you are saying yes to being more productive (hopefully). Use that thought process when deciding what tasks to complete and you can find yourself getting a lot more done than before.

Real world examples.

I used to be notorious for being late until I changed my thinking. My biggest problem was getting sidetracked last min. For example, I would always get sucked into the computer or TV right before work. It wouldn’t be long maybe 5 or 10 mins but that short distraction almost always caused me to be late. This morning I almost got stuck on the latest episode of Naruto. Instead of watching it and being late to my dentist appointment, I told myself it would still be there later and my appointment was more important. It’s still a constant struggle for me but I’ve gotten much better. For me it’s all about what is most important at the moment? What I’m doing or what I could be doing. One other thing that keeps me on point is to identify if an activity is bringing me closer to my goals or further from them.

I’m now a regular practitioner of quitting. I used to be so bad. I would read article after article killing mins sometimes hours. Nowadays, if the writer doesn’t deliver value within the first couple paragraphs, I just stop reading and go do something else. Even when the article is giving lots of value I won’t read it if it’s too long. I would say my limit is about 1800 words which is generous on my part considering that’s like a 6-8 min read. Hell, I’m an avid quitter of jobs as well. I’ve had 5 jobs in the last 18 months. My philosophy is life is too short to spend time being unfulfilled. With that notion if a job is too boring, too stressful, or not teaching me something I want to know, I bounce. You don’t have to be so extreme though. As I always say find what works for you. At the end of the day it’s your time and money so I can’t tell you how to use it without knowing you and your goals. All I can do is share with you what I’ve learned over the years.

So…

Have you ever felt like you were wasting time with something or even on someone? Did you continue or quit? Do you feel like quitting is not acceptable? What have you quit lately? See you next time!

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