"Winners never quit, and quitters never win"
Who hasn't seen that quote. I understand the reasoning behind it. When you are facing adversity, keep going. But is that really good advice?
I recently had a friend put out this quote "97% of the people who quit too soon now work for the 3% who didn't".
This struck a nerve with me. Since when is the ultimate goal of anyone to never step back and see if what they are doing is even the thing they should be doing? Is that "quitting too soon"?
With the recently completed Olympics, we got to celebrate athletes and their abilities for 16 days. It would be interesting to know how many of these athletes have changed the event or specialty they compete in over their careers. Did they "quit too soon"? What if the shot put throwers really wanted to be and worked at being swimmers? Or Gymnasts really desired to be pole vaulters? Did they quit too soon on their dreams?
The reason I post this should be obvious. Not everyone will be successful at whatever they find a passion for, but learning something completely unfamiliar may bring huge success. In the case of athletes, how many hundreds of thousands participate in high school athletics? Reduce that to how many thousands in college and even fewer professionally.
If only they all would not have "quit too soon"!
In the case of people with a chronic illness, their health dictates what they will do. Some will do much, some less. And yet it is important to determine what "less" really is. Is it really less?
My wife works in long term care. There is a debate about quality of life that surfaces from time to time in the care of the elderly. One argument is that when mom or grandma is no longer able to enjoy her life, their life has no value. I find that to be incredibly short sighted. Perhaps their value is in teaching the caregivers and family humility and respect for the elderly. Or patience. Or empathy.
Is that of less value than being out in the world pushing and striving to get ahead?
I've never heard a motivational speaker or seen a motivational quote that says "If you want to get ahead, you need to step back". Maybe they should.
People need to stop what they are doing when what they are doing is getting them nowhere. I believe a familiar quote goes something like this, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results".
Sounds like sometimes quitting too soon is the right thing to do.
If you are a fan of the motivational gurus of today, good for you. Personally, I find their talk pointless drivel. We really all find our drive from within. It is a long life if you have to be constantly pushed and prodded to keep going. At times, yes. Constantly, yikes!
The point of this whole post is that if you are pushing and succeeding, good for you! If you are struggling right now, maybe your purpose is to step back, look at the real purpose in your life, and be as humble and patient and kind as you can to those you depend on. Your purpose might be to benefit them.
And maybe, just maybe, by "quitting too soon" and redirecting your efforts, you will end up being the 1% that advises the 3% that employs the 96% on how to be a better human being rather than just a successful one.
'Til next time
Just a guy trying to live with an invisible, potentially debilitating illness