The Benefits of Quitting

Quitting has a bad reputation.

There are so many cool activities you can pursue on Earth. But if you quit one, we view the person negatively.

What gives?

In this article, I’m going to present the case for why quitting is actually quite a good thing.

You Can’t Like What You Don’t Know

How do you know if you’re going to like something?

You have to try it.

In order to try something new though, you have to risk you eventually won’t like it. In other words, you have to risk that you will eventually quit.

It’s a dilemma though.

Because why would we try new things when we would be labelled a quitter?

Yet don’t ever stop for a second and ask…

“Is it okay to quit?”

The answer is yes.

Because we’re all quitters.

You couldn’t possibly do every activity you’ve ever started. It would logistically be impossible.

For example…

School. 

Some people quit school after they graduate high school. Others after they graduate college. And further, some quit school after they finish their graduate schools.

We have landmarks, of course. Finishing 12th grade in the United States is known as “completing” high school. Finishing your senior year of college is “completing” college. We arbitrarily have designated periods of time. Afterward, it’s become socially acceptable to quit that journey. 

“But wait, they didn’t quit, they completed their degree!”

A person who no longer attends school has quit it. (Don’t believe me? Here’s the dictionary definition: “quit (v.): leave (a place), usually permanently.”)

And that’s okay.

Quitting Makes You Worldly

Quitting a lot of different activities means you’ve tried a lot of stuff. And trying new stuff allows you to see the world in a new way. It allows you to be more empathetic to others.

It allows you to make connections with others you otherwise might not have been able to relate to.

Quitting Allows You To Explore Other Options

There is an infinite amount of options available to us.

We might see a new project and think to ourselves… “Wow, I’d love to do that.”

Well, we often can’t do that if we keep everything on our current plate. We need to explore a different option.

Quitting Means Less On Your Plate

How can having less on your plate help you?

It means you’ll have more mental bandwidth to explore what you actually want to explore.

So Should You Quit?

Maybe.

Although quitting can be beneficial, there is a fine line. Some questions I’ve used to help guide me in the past:

  • Have I tried this activity for at least 90 days? For whatever reason, I’ve found 75-100 days to be a good test for seeing a new hobby/activity/project through. This gives you a short enough time to test it out, suck a little bit at it, and get better. If you’re trying it for less, you’re probably not giving the habit enough time.
  • Am I just being lazy? Sometimes we’re quitting because we just don’t want to do the work. That’s the Resistance that Steven Pressfield talks about in The War of Art.
  • Does this activity serve my ultimate purpose? If you have a purpose or mission, you can put the habit or activity in the context of the mission. This will help you figure out if you want to do it.

Quitting isn’t always a bad thing. If we can ask ourselves these questions before quitting, we just may be better off.

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