“What do you mean when it’s time to give up? I will NEVER give up!” Slow down there Rocky. Although I am a big believer and practitioner of the whole never give up motto, there will come a time in your life when it would be better to just give up. Ignorance is the person who keeps going and going and does not know when to stop even when what he is doing is completely wrong for him.
Are you considered a quitter when you give up? That depends on what you are giving up on. Now I’m not talking about quitting a bad habit, I’m actually talking about quitting your pursuit of a goal. I’m sure you have been told that in order to become successful, you must persevere, fight, stand up whenever you fall, and march forward until the end. I say those things to people all the time, so why am I telling you now that sometimes it is actually better to quit? The reason is because in certain cases, you could only go forward if you go back.
Sometimes you will be putting a lot of time and effort in achieving a goal to find out one day that your strategy is totally wrong. You could be achieving the same results in half the time had you been focusing on doing the more important things.
Let’s say your goal was to lose weight. You then set a goal to do 1000 sit up a day. After about 1 month of doing this, you realize that you have been disciplined enough to hit your goal of 1000 sit ups a day, however, you aren’t getting any closer to your main goal of losing weight. This is called focusing on a secondary goal, which sometimes is the wrong strategy.
We sometimes get so focused on a secondary goal that we lose focus on the primary goal. I see this with sales people all the time. Their main goal is to make money but they often find their focus on hitting some new position within the sales department and when that doesn’t happen, they feel like a big failure. The goal never was to hit some position; the goal was to make money whether with this company or another company.
Would it make sense, in this case, for a sales person to quit the job if his goal of making a certain amount of money just wasn’t happening? His managers would probably call him a quitter, but his goal is to make money. If he can obtain that goal through a different source, then quitting would actually be the smart thing to do.
So when is it time to give up? When what you are doing no longer makes sense in respects to achieving your main goal. Sometimes it will make more sense to give up what you are doing and start on a different path towards the same goal.
Some people will spend their entire lives on a path to a certain goal only to find out in the end that the path they took was the wrong one. There is no shame in giving up on a path you are taking to your goal as long as you always aim to reach your goal. There’s no point in staying on a path that will lead you to nowhere.
By Kevin Ngo