Difference Between A Quitter And Knowing When To Quit
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Difference Between A Quitter And Knowing When To Quit

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Difference Between A Quitter And Knowing When To Quit
“You can do anything, but not everything.” David Allen 

Quitters have always been a pet peeve of mine because I have always been strong in my conviction of never quitting anything that I begin. Once you start something -- anything -- you have a duty to see things out until the very end. It’s like watching a romantic movie and stopping right when the main characters are about to kiss for the first time. Where is the satisfaction in never knowing how things play out in the end? Do the two characters fall in love, or was one of them just pretending? 

Too often in life, we don’t get closure. Someone we used to like, suddenly stops talking to us and we don’t know what we did or why. We don’t take chances and we wonder for the rest of our lives what life could have, or might have, been like had we taken those chances; our loved ones die before we can say goodbye; the list goes on. That’s why I don’t like quitters; because for the very few things in life that we actually do have control over, like our mental drive, we shouldn’t be undermining or wasting it, especially when it is one of the very few things we actually get to have a say about, in this unpredictable and uncontrollable life. We all have the power to see things through until the end. So why not utilize it? 

Lately, however, I've come to realize that there is a difference between being a quitter, and person who knows when to quit. A quitter is someone who, as described above, quits just because -- perhaps due to laziness or lack of commitment. Regardless, the reasons why a quitter quits are usually excuses and a waste of that person’s potential.

A person who knows when to quit is different from a quitter. They do so because it’s the right thing to do. I realize the vagueness of such a definition; it comes down to our own judgment. However, there are distinct signs that indicate the soundness of our judgment on this subject. One sign is lack of happiness, and another sign is feeling out of control.     

Life may be too short to be anything but happy, but there are times in life when we have to do things that don’t make us happy. The problem is that people lean too far to one side or the other, instead of finding the balance. I’m not condoning dropping all the things in your life that make you unhappy, or drudging through a job you absolutely can’t stand for several years. Rather, it’s about realizing the difference between the things in your life that cause necessary, but only momentary, unhappiness, and the things in your life that cause unnecessary and prolonged unhappiness.

A part time job in a fast food restaurant is the perfect example. It may be temporarily necessary for you to get through each work shift, unhappily having to fake a smile, because you need money. However, it’s not necessary for you to stay there the rest of your life and be forever unhappy. A person who knows when to quit, quits, when the unhappiness they feel in a certain area of their life has lasted a long time and is unnecessary. The negativity adds up over time, and a person can only take so much before it starts eating them from the inside out.

In his book, "Getting Things Done," David Allen says, “We can do anything, but not everything.” It can be hard for some of us to admit when we have too much on our plates. It is important to realize when we’re in over our heads, because not admitting it hinders our ability to accomplish what we set out to do. 

I was once told, during a time when I was extremely overwhelmed and stressed with everything going on in my life, to see each day as a wrapped box with several little gifts inside. If you try to open too many at once, then you won’t be able to appreciate each of the individual gifts that lay inside because you’ll be too focused on opening all of the wrapped boxes. We must make sure we are accomplishing our goals one at a time. It’s better to have accomplished one goal at the end of the day, than to be left with 10 unaccomplished goals. 

To those of you out there who are like me, and try to do as many things as you can until you break, and still try to hold on even though you’re broken, believe me when I say it’s okay to stop and let go. It may not be easy, but I promise that once you do, it will feel like taking a breath of fresh air. That very breath of fresh air will help heal your brokenness, instantly.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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