Opinion: On Quitting and Being the Best
HackCollege is not the type of site that presents “inspirational” advice. You won’t find pictures of climbers with quotes about “reaching new heights” or “never letting go [of dreams].” Instead, we present practical advice that students can apply to their lives to become better students and future graduates. Occasionally, we post opinion pieces that deviate from this; however, they are always relevant to college students and young workers.
One of the easiest and hardest things to do in life is quit. Some may find it easy to give up on careers, relationships, or hobbies, while others struggle to let go and move on. The latter were likely told “quitting is easy” many times throughout their lives and may hold quitting in a purely negative light. However, it’s often quite the contrary.
Quitting often means we have to start all over and work our way up — a scary thought for just about anyone. But in his book The Dip, Seth Godin says that winners don’t just quit because something’s difficult, they quit because it’s the right time to move on to something bigger and better.
Godin also makes it clear that being the best is not, by any means, overrated. Being the best brings more opportunity for success than mediocrity. For instance, the best sports players are the ones you see in the news, signing more lucrative contracts and gaining new sponsors. The same principle applies to everything; the #1 movie this week made $75 million more than #2, and the site at the top of a Google search receives the lion’s share of clicks.
My favorite quote from The Dip is about why some people make it to the top over others:
“…the reason that most of them didn’t have a chance is that somewhere along the way they quit. They didn’t quit high school or college or law school. Instead, they quit in their quest to be the best in the world because the cost just seemed too high.”
While you may not get the same results as famous quitters, such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, or Mark Zuckerberg, the title “the best” is subjective and not necessarily tied to fame or fortune. The idea is simply to consistently work toward achieving your goals and move on when those goals become unattainable or better opportunities present themselves.
What are your thoughts on quitting and being the best? When has quitting helped you and when has it hurt you? Let us know in the comments below!
Image: Paul Fisher