they say that winners never quit, and quitters never win. i’m not sure i believe them. there’s a very good chance that michael phelps’s mother insisted he take piano lessons, for example. well, michael phelps quitting piano doesn’t make him any less a winner, now does it?
there have been times in my life when i didn’t quit something that i probably definitely should have quit. educational programs, relationships, jobs. sometimes i stayed for fear of the stigma of quitting; sometimes i stayed out of foolish hope; sometimes i stayed because of laziness. not one of these is a good reason to stay some place that you know is not for you.
i know i will never be a flamenco dancer. probably not even an avid flamenco hobbyist. i’ve been going to class this week with dread. i’ve been watching the clock when i’m there, anxious for the class to end. i’ve been giving it half of my capability and far less than half of my interest. so why am i still going? because i paid for the two weeks, that’s why. another bad reason. i can’t get back the money or the time, so why not just hang up the flamenco shoes and at least reclaim a little stresslessness?
my point is this: don’t be afraid of quitting sometimes; it isn’t always bad. in fact, it can be positive, liberating, self-affirming, empowering, and even the Smart Thing to Do. after all, wisdom is the better part of valor, you know—that’s something they say, too.