The Philosophy of Quitting

A note to my future self..

This week I read The Dip by Seth Godin and the book has a couple of interesting takeaways. In this post I discuss Seth’s approach to quitting, which I found quite useful. In my opinion, Seth’s philosophy around quitting can be boiled down to:

Quitting is a good thing if it means that you can refocus on what matters the most.

This seems quite straightforward (as with many of the ideas that I right about) but in a society that pushes back hard against the notion of quitting Seth’s approach feels like a breath of fresh air.

Seth argument is that in many instances quitting should be seen as a smart decision and not as a moral failure. We tend to associate quitting with weakness but in reality quitting can allow us redirect our energy and focus to what matters the most.

At the end of the day we need to focus on working on the problem that matters the most to us and we can only do that if we say “No” to everything else. Ideally we would say no to things even before we start them but for those projects/goals that we’ve already started quitting is the next best alternative.

The Takeaway

For me the key takeaway is that I need to consistently re-evaluate what I am doing and be proactive about quitting whatever is not 100% essential. So far I’ve quitted (for now) learning a new language, dancing, filming videos, and learning a new sport. This is not to say that I will never do these things but for now I am focused on building a startup, writing, reading, meditating and exercising. That’s it. That’s all I do. I think that now it’s about quitting smaller things that might provide a smaller return but can still add up to something significant over time.

Now back to work..