The worst advice people can offer you is “Don’t give up.” It is often coupled with the phrase – “Don’t be a quitter.”
Let me say that it is okay to be a quitter. The obvious things you should quit include cigarettes, drugs and binge drinking.
But what about the less obvious things you should quit – just give up and walk away from ?
Deciding what you should give up, quit on, depends on several basic questions. The first question is: “Is this the best use of my time? ” Think about that – when you go through a day -how much time do you waste – playing video games, texting, surfing the internet, watching TV?
Once you identify the many ways you waste time – the next question becomes – “How can I make better use of my time? What can I do to improve myself, improve my relationships with others, grow as a person, help others?”
Let me give you a quick example – spending four hours a week volunteering is much more productive than playing four hours of video games. Isn’t four hours a week of volunteering more help to society than watching four hours of TV?
Let me interject one of my favorite quotes here – Socrates once said – “The unexamined life is not worth living?”
And it is okay to think about giving up, to consider quitting. Those thoughts make you examine your life and decide how to become a better person, how to get rid of the negatives in your life, and how to replace them with more productive habits .
You see – that is the advantage of giving up, quitting. If you quit bad habits – you actually have created an opportunity for yourself – you have the opportunity to examine how you need to change, how you can develop into a better person.
And it takes courage to give up. Often, you can only grow by letting go of the old, by quitting, by walking away. When you let go of the old, you can embrace the new.
A quick example. Let’s say you have a dead-end job. It takes courage to quit that job . After all, it does offer you a paycheck and security. But do you want to work that job for the next thirty years and never challenge yourself? It takes courage to quit, to go to school, acquire a degree, acquire a skill, That means two to four years of hard work. But you can be 30 years old with a college degree or 30 without a college degree. Who would you rather be? You can be 30 with no marketable skill or 30 with a skill. Again who would you rather be?
I mentioned earlier that having the courage to give up, to quit depends on several basic questions. Let me offer another example. How often have you heard the phrase “What does she see in him? ” Or “What does he see in her? “
I am not an expert in young love, but I do know that many people mistake security for love – stay in harmful relationships, because it is easier to stay in than walk away. That is nonsense. Always examine your relationships – are they positive, are you growing, are you being supportive of each other? Or are you really in what I call “mood management mode.” Do you always carefully examine everything you say and do, so you won’t get the other person upset?
Then quit, give up. Walk away. Again quitting offers opportunities for you to grow, to be in a better relationship.
One final thought, and then I will close with one of my favorite quotes. Too many people are bystanders, spectators of life. They do not throw themselves and all their energies into life; they hang back, afraid to try new things, to test new opportunities.
Are you that person? Well then quit it! Give up that attitude! Become a doer, not a spectator.
Perhaps this was best said by Teddy Roosevelt.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Finally quit wasting your precious time, give up your bad habits – start to grow as a person and go spend yourself “in a great cause”.