Welcome to the Passion Series at The Hart Technique. Part I. When is it Time to Quit?
In developing or following passion, sometimes we need to remove obstacles in order to progress forward. Sometimes, we need to know when to quit.
In the culture I grew up in, we were taught to never quit. Winners never quit and quitters never win. However, sometimes, not quitting defies common sense. Sometimes investments are going south. Sometimes relationships deteriorate. Sometimes jobs turn into poisonous environments. Sometimes an exit is the only sane option.
Seth Godin, Marketing Guru, said “Winners quit fast, quit often, and quit without guilt-until they commit to beating the right Dip for the right reasons”.
It is important to, first of all, try. When you attempt new businesses or explore new business creation, it is important to recognize and recognize quickly when to withdraw your efforts so that you can focus them on another project of potential.
We had a wonderful guest artist in school today. Her name is Joan Kunsch. Joan is a remarkable choreographer, teacher and poet. She said, “All of my opportunities have come through escape hatches”.
Ending one job can or a relationship or circumstance can sometimes, open rich opportunity in your life. If you work a standard full-time job, you are putting in about 40 hours of work time per week. This number does not include time spent preparing for work and commuting to work. Tack on a couple hours on the front end and one or two on the return, per day. Suddenly, our 40 hour a job week has turned into a 60 hour a week time commitment.
We only have so much energy in the course of any day. If we are dedicating that energy to poisonous people, environments and situations or scenarios that are clearly going to be dead ends or money, time, energy or emotional vortexes, we need to have the courage to cast them off and re divert our attention, focus and resources in other directions.
If we remove commitments that take large chunks of our time and energy in the course of our days, we gain hours. This translates to mean we gain potential, for we can do things and meet people in those hours. We can pursue making a living from our passions during those hours. With this new time, we have the possibility of changing directions. We have the potential to change the paths we are on and can, literally, put wheels in motion that lead to profound changes in our lives.
If a gardner clears a section of earth, pulling up plants, weeds, etc. down to the bare earth, if the gardner does nothing with that space, but lets nature and time run their course, something is going to grow in that plucked earth. If the ground is remotely fertile, new life will, without a doubt, pop up, filling the naked earth with greenery.
If you clear some land in your life, by quitting poisonous relationships, jobs, life circumstances, etc., something else is going to grow in that space.
Knowing this, if you fill your space with lots of nutrients, (structuring your pursuits with goals, thinking imaginatively, doing proper research and analysis, you make the space in your life more fertile, if you will. This foundational work opens potential for new opportunities, influences, changes and chances.
But how do you quit your job and still have an income to pay the rent? Well, this is where all of your planning and structuring comes into play. Don’t just quit your job without a plan. That is foolish risk taking. We want to take educated and well thought out risks. So, plan and build. Spend extra time while you are working at your job, structuring for your leap. Find inspiration in the film “The Shawshank Redeption”. Tim Robbins character, Andy Dufresne, slowly picks away at his prison wall during his late hour cell time. In time, he chips away enough and plans long and thoroughly enough, that he successfully escapes the prison he is in and reinvents, following his dream: living a relaxed live of affluence in Mexico, refurbishing boats on the shore.
Once you are properly structured and feel prepared to give opportunity a go (like starting your own business), leap. Don’t stick your toe in the water. Jump in and get wet all at once. Commit as a man who’s hair is on fire commits to finding water.
When you commit and are determined to make a living from your creativity, often times, you will find yourself doing so. Sometimes not. Any dream is worth some risk. Sometimes if you demand of yourself that you will work no work other than creative work, you find yourself generating income and being creative doing so.
Now, if you go this path, at first, things can get a little lean and some months you may wonder how you are going to pay rent and you may find that your diet has to change. More peanut butter enters your life and pasta too. You may find you have to work harder than ever before and sleep less. However, you are working at what you love. So, work, sometimes, becomes joy.
Every hero in nearly every action scene has their montage. This is where they prepare for the big battle. The hero does all kinds of preparation (usually shown in short clips over time) to increase their chances of winning. That is what we must do. We must increase our chances of winning.
Committing is everything. We must say, “Yes” to the adventure. Sometimes we need to first quit something that prevents us from moving forward in following our bliss, in achieving our goals. When we do, the wheels of change roll and a whole new field of possibility will open before you.
A bit of advice given to a young Native American at the time of his initiation:
As you go the way of life, you will see a great chasm. Jump.
It is not as wide as you think.