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YOU DON’T HAVE TO QUIT. JUST STOP.

Posted by on September 3, 2013

Quitter?  You?  Me?  NEVER.

Just need to stop for a little while and realign my waterfowl.  Just for a little while, ‘kay?  Then, I promise you, I’m back at it with a vengeance.

Coffee - Powered by dilithium crystals

“Nah.  I don’t quit.”

Ever told yourself that?

We all have.  Quitting is for losers, after all.  You and I are no losers.  We just need a little time and space to back away and replace the old dilithium crystals.  A short break, like.  Then we’re off and running again.  Really.

Right?  Let me share something with you Sean D’ Souza writes. It’s short, powerful and to the point.

How do you fail at something?

You simply stop.

I’ve seen people who could be exceedingly good writers, artists etc.

And yet they stop.

Then they lose momentum.

And they possibly never regain that pace and momentum again.

The interesting part is that they don’t intend to stop forever

They just stop for a day, which turns into two, which snowballs into weeks and months. And then it’s just too hard to recover. I know this because I’ve done it often enough. I’ve drawn cartoons for a little over 30 years. You could say I’m pretty good at it.

But all I have to do is stop

Suddenly I lose the ability to draw. I look at the paper. I look at the pencil. The paints are tucked away somewhere in the deep recesses of my desk. And the days and weeks slide into oblivion until it takes enormous effort just to get started again. And this is with something I love and am very capable at doing.

Imagine the frustration when you’re learning something, and you stop. 

It’s a lot worse. And what bugs you even more is the mindless excuses you make. You think your excuses seem logical. No, they don’t. An excuse is an excuse. Everyone has time to do what they want to do. All of us take the time to bathe, brush and clothe ourselves, even on the busiest of days.

But surely everyone needs a break…

Yes they do, and go right ahead and take that break. But be aware that the longer the break, the more you’ll have to battle resistance to get back to where you once were.

So keep the break short. If Mt. Everest falls on your head and you need an unexpected break, well, take it, but make sure you have someone bugging you to get back.

Someone? Yes, anyone. It could be a friend, a neighbor, your spouse, lover, even a nine-year old who lives down the street. They’ll nudge you, bug you, remind you. And then you’ll decide to start again. It’s much too easy to fall off the bandwagon and not get back on, if you’re working alone. So get yourself a co-pilot that will make sure you don’t stop.

Because the best way to fail is to stop.

Stop reading.

Stop writing.

Stop drawing.

Stop walking.

Stop.

It’s a sure recipe for failure.

______________________________

I told you it was powerful.  Our first instinct is to recoil, kick at it and say something like, “Hey, I never quit ___________.  I just needed to back away a little and regroup.  I’ll get back at it.”

Don’t waste time denying it.  You do it.  I do it.

So–the ticket is to

  • admit just how deceptively easy it is to, ah, stop a little longer.  The other thing is to
  • recognize and admit there are likely some other things that perhaps need to be stopped to make room for the things that need to be started again.

Okay, that one may sting a little.  “Everyone has time to do what they want to do. All of us take the time to bathe, brush and clothe ourselves, even on the busiest of days.” (D’ Souza)  He’s right.  Excuses are still excuses and they usually cover up our desire to do something pleasant, usually simpler and more personally fun, rather than what we maybe ought to be doing.

Excuses can sound rational and compelling from our point of view.  But they can show some glaring inconsistencies when those who spend time with us scan them.

Stop if you need to.  We all get weary and need batteries recharged.  We all have times when some focus is needed on this to the point that needs to be sidelined.

Just be sure it’s temporary.  It is amazing how quickly ‘stop’ can become ‘quit’.

And you know ‘failure’ is defined as falling down and staying there.

It’s not the falling.  We all get things wrong until we get them right.  That’s part of the process of getting anything done.  It’s making the stop permanent.

Don’t do that.  We need you out here on the front lines.

You need me there, too.

 

© D. Dean Boone September 2013

 

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