Quitting has a bad reputation. “Never give up,” people say. Achieving greatness isn’t easy, and results aren't instantaneous, so it makes sense to persevere. But that doesn’t mean quitting is inherently bad. Maybe you want to get healthy, so you decide to run. You purchase state-of-the-art running shoes and sign up for a local half marathon. A few weeks into training, you get shooting pains in your right knee. The doctor says your MCL is barely intact, and you should stop running.
You tell the doctor, “Quitting is for losers,” and continue punishing yourself. A month later you’re getting surgery to repair a torn ligament. But it didn’t have to be that way. You could’ve found another way to get healthy. Maybe you’ll fair better on a bicycle, or perhaps you’d enjoy swimming. Those activities are easier on your joints.
Everything you do has a cost. You’re reading this essay right now, even though you could be doing a million other things (thank you). Quitting can be a way of creating availability for other activities.
All of this suggests that it’s very important to prioritize our activities, which requires that we truly get to know ourselves. What is your purpose? After determining what motivates you, it’s much easier to create a mission and prioritize activities. The best way to make time for self discovery is to quit the activities that are clearly holding you back. I binge-watching Netflix a good use of your time? Should you be drinking shots with your buddies at the bar? Maybe that time would be better spent looking deep into yourself to determine how you can generate lasting happiness.
Quit the bad stuff, so you can have the good stuff.