Quitting Strategically

Change. It’s a wonder to think that everything in our life
that we have resulted from some form of change. Whether it’s a change in our
taste of music, a change in our daily habits, or a change in the people we
associate with, that change will have some type of impact on our future. This
past month I have joined the hundreds of thousands of college freshman who
changed their living arrangements, study habits, and change in areas of focus.
In high school I focused immensely on sports. After school I
would devote two and a half hours of my day to that specific sport that season.
However, I underwent a change when I graduated high school, because, despite my
five year-old aspirations, I will not be a professional
football/basketball/baseball player. Now it seems that every spare moment of my
life (outside of FFA) is focused on my academic materials.
“Never give up.” How many times have we heard this from our
role models, teachers, or coaches? At the surface this seems like a motto worth
following precisely. Although, if I hadn’t given up my aspirations of a
professional athlete, would I be studying Agricultural Engineering at Kansas
State? In Seth Godin’s book The Dip
he describes the difference between quitting within “the dip” and strategically
quitting to begin something new. “The dip” is a natural occurrence that happens
in an effort where there is no hope of success.

The truth of the matter is that not every idea we ever have
is a great idea. As kids, almost everybody goes through the “running away from
home stage”. After about an hour of boredom, loneliness, and hunger, we head
back home, essentially quitting that idea for the best cause. However, if one
were to abandon their hope of being an Ag. Teacher after one difficult Animal
Science class, “the dip” has conquered another victim. On the contrary, if that
individual can’t devote the hours needed to study for the class because of
their involvement in too many organizations, then strategically dropping one of
the organizations would be beneficial in the long run.
Think about how you devote your time throughout your days.
Is it beneficial to your overall goal? If not, do not feel reluctant about
defying the old adage of never quitting. There may be that friend in our lives
that is holding us back for a number of reasons. Abandoning relationships can
be difficult, but if they’re not constructive towards the future, then that
relationship has a weak foundation and will crumble in the future anyway.
Consider the activities you partake in. What are they accomplishing? Change is
challenging, but once one begins to focus their efforts more wisely, success
will come. Persevere through “the dip” and quit those unconstructive areas. All
of that being said, I leave you with this quote, “Winners quit fast, quit
often, and quit without guilt”
– Seth Godin.