At least that’s how I was raised. My mom didn’t care if I tried and failed, but she we go mad if I gave up and quit. There were lots of things I did when I was younger that I absolutely hated and probably would have been better off to quit and use my time doing something else instead of wasting my time doing something that I hated or just wasn’t for me. But I soldiered on because mom said, “Never quit!”
The army picked up where my mom left off. The army trained me to never quit. Do or die, but never quit!. I even carried this picture around with me to remind me to never quit.
While that is a great attitude, it has consequences.
Not knowing when to quit is sometimes worse than quitting. The trouble is we don’t have a clear set of criteria to help us make the decision to quit or not.
Here’s a simple model you can use:
If it’s important to you, do it. If you don’t know how to do it, get help. There’s plenty of it out there.
If it’s not important to you, stop doing it. Why waste another precious moment doing something that’s not important to you.
The real wisdom, of course, resides in knowing what is important to you and what is not. For that, you’ll need to rely on your values. If you’re not clear on what your values are then start there first. Try Bill George’s True North Questionnaire to get you started or scan this list of values to see which resonate with you.
For alternative take on values and the one I’ve used the most in the past is Martin Seligman‘s Authentic Happiness. He talks about playing to your signature strengths which are derived from what the Greek’s called Virtues.