6.5 Reasons Why You Quit


I quitPeople quit every day.

In fact, 95% of Americans quit something every single day

(and 75% of statistics are made up on the spot).

Okay… so I made that statistic up.  But I’m sure it’s not far from the truth.

Take me.  Today, I made the decision to quit telling myself that I wasn’t qualified for a certain position I was interested in.

But the sad truth is… most of the time we as people quit something, it’s usually an act of giving up on something that is just to stinkin’ hard.  ‘I quit trying to make people happy’ is a phrase most of us probably spoke when we finally realized that we can’t make people happy all the time.  ‘I quit being a gentlemen’ is hear often when men realize that most people don’t appreciate chivalry as much as they used to.  ‘I quit life’ is thrown around too much figuratively… and literally.

It is the third day of the second month of the year, and I am just curious how many of us have quit what we set out to do at the beginning of the year.  Most call them ‘new year resolutions.’  But why do we give up on them so easily?

Here are 6.5 reasons why I think people quit.

1. Your eyes are bigger than your mouth.

Unfortunately, for most of us, we commit to more than we can handle.  We take too many won tons from the Chinese buffet.  We commit to too many coffee dates on Saturday mornings.  We throw too many groceries in our cart (albeit while we are hungry).  It makes me wonder if it’s natural for us to want more than we have.  We all have human nature, which in my opinion is the desire to satisfy ‘self.’  I believe it is from this human nature that we have the desire to crave more than we know to handle.  That’s why people overdose, overspend, over speak.  This world (especially the United States) is full of overachievers, and the sad truth is this attitude is often provoked and permissible in today’s culture.  Too bad.

2. You want people to know how much you are [NOT] capable of.

We all have the desire to please others.  As much as we inherently desire self-satisfaction, I believe there is also this hunger for others to praise our accomplishments.  ‘Hey look, I am quitting this horrible habit that has ruined our relationship.  Now love me again.’  Is it wrong to have others’ praise serve as purpose for change?  Surely not.  But, I do think we have to be careful with our intentions.  I see too many people who simply expect that this reason alone can carry them through a tough decision.  It’s simply not possible.  I don’t care who you are, or how strong you are – no amount of praise or satisfaction from others can serve as the pure point of support for change… ESPECIALLY when you are purposefully trying to please someone.  Do I want to please my wife?  Yes.   Will I make decisions to do so?  Yes.  Have I quit things that I’ve tried doing to please my wife?  Yes.  I quit because only wanting to please my wife wasn’t a strong enough reason.  I committed to too much because I thought that’s what she wanted.  Come to find out… all she wanted was love.

3. You get bored.

Oh, this is a fun one.  For people like me, it’s simply too easy to move on to the next thing.  And in America, we are fueled by convenience, economy, and a fast-paced lifestyle.  If something isn’t pumping on all cylinders, why don’t you just throw it away and get a new one.  If plan A isn’t working, there’s always plan’s B through Z, and then you can go onto plan AA… there is no end to our willingness to move on to the next thing.  In some cases, this is probably a good thing.  The principle of Fail Fast & Often holds true in some cases.  It’s good to learn quickly, so you can discover what you need to discover sooner rather than later.  But this race for the ultimate solution often causes us to skip over some of the best moments in life.  So your girlfriend doesn’t meet all 1134 requirements to be your wife… you better quit trying and move on.  Oh, your current diet has only helped you lose 3 pounds, and not the 18 you were expecting?  You should just throw it all away, and move on to the next one.  This attitude ruins our ability to appreciate, and even notice, the greater moments in life.  Stop running around like a rat.  Slow down.  Enjoy life.

4. You can’t handle the pressure.

Change affects us all.  Change is hardly ever comfortable or easy.  Change often creates pressure.  And sometimes that pressure is too much to bear.  To me, this is probably the most respectable reason to quit.  In fact, it can even be a noble decision when you realize your strength is limited.  But, this is also the most deceitful reason people quit.  The truth is, most of us don’t realize how strong we really are.  You’ve all heard the stories of small women lifting cars from on top of someone in an emergency situation.  The truth is, we all have a storage of strength that we can call on in especially tough times.  But the truth is also that most of us don’t know when or how to rely on our own strength.  So, instead of fighting, we give up.  Sad.

5. You fear the worst more than you look forward to the best.

Pessimism is something I practically hate.  I am not a fan of the ‘glass half empty’ club.  I’m not exactly in the ‘everything’s going to be okay’ camp either, because I think they are too often ignorant to reality.  But, when we are confronted with change it is far too easy for us to ponder the worst case scenario than it is to dream about the best.  Why is that?  I’m not sure.  But this fact has caused many people to quit prematurely because their vision was clouded by pessimistic failure.  They gave up before they knew the outcome.

6. You psych yourself into it.

Or out of it.  We have a hidden agenda that sometimes out-rules our own common sense.  There’s an inner fighter in all of us that is going on all the time.  Whether good vs. evil, or right vs. left, sometimes our greatest enemy in any decision is ourselves.  C’mon people.  We need to learn to stand up against ourselves.  But, you may ask, how do you know which ‘self’ is the right self?  I can’t answer that question for you.  But I can tell you that when you make the right decision, you’ll know.

6.5 You’ve quit so many times, you’re used to the feeling.

Stop convincing yourself that you are a failure.  One of my favorite stories growing up was Autobiography In Five Short Chapters by Portia Nelson.  Read it below, and take its principles to heart:

Autobiography In Five Short Chapters

Chapter I
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter II
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter III
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit… but,
my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter IV
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter V
I walk down another street.
– Portia Nelson

What is keeping you from quitting?

I want to challenge you today to stay the course.  To finish something is the most rewarding feeling in the world.  We all quit.  But, as the poem pointed out, it’s how we get back up again that determines our course.

How will you get back up again?

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