January Newsletter #2
January 2016 Newsletter #2
Winner never quit and quitters never win? WRONG!
Actually, some of the most successful people quit quite a lot. They just know when to quit, and when to persevere. Sometimes the losers are the ones who keep doing the same thing again and again while expecting a different result.
In Seth Godin’s excellent short book, “The Dip,” the author explains when we should stick it out despite challenges, and when we should quit. Most importantly, he explains how to tell the difference between these situations.
You should definitely quit when this happens…You’re in a situation that is not getting better, where there is no room for growth, and you’re basically on a plateau, or maybe things are getting even worse. You’ll know because you’re getting stressed out and your energy is being sucked out of you. Godin calls this a “cul-de-sac,” which is basically a dead-end. It could be a dead-end job, where there is limited upside in salary or opportunity, or it might be a stale relationship where only one party wants to improve things.
He contrasts the cul-de-sac with the “dip.” The dip is a situation where there is challenge, but it’s an expected period where extra effort is required to breakthrough to the other side. This often follows an initial period of excitement, when we feel inspired to take on something new. An example of a dip are the difficult weed-out courses that pre-med students have to take in college. Only the devoted and dedicated students push through the dip and survive to progress to medical school. Another example would be an economic downturn, which causes the less committed or capitalized businesses to fold, while those who are most resourceful survive to lead the market during the inevitable recovery.
When you’re in a cul-de-sac, Godin says you must quit immediately, since you’re wasting resources (time, money, energy) that you could allocate elsewhere. The sooner you recognize the cul-de-sac, the better. When you’re in a dip, and you are willing to make it through the cold, hard winter, then persevere. It will pay off when springtime comes around. But if you know there’s going to be a dip (such as when learning a new sport, which gets difficult once the novelty wears off, and you have to work hard to become competent), and you’re realistic enough to know you’re not up for the challenge, then save your energy and quit before the dip comes.
Bottom line: Winners know the difference between the cul-de-sac and the dip. Winners quit when they encounter a cul-de-sac, and they never quit in the dip. Ask yourself about the challenges in your life. Do you have the courage to quit those cul-de-sacs and save your energy for your dips?