I’ve been thinking about quitting a lot lately. Not quitting my job (because I truly love what I do), but quitting other things. Things that no longer serve me, make me happy or make me say, “Hell, yeah!” This is new territory for me because most of the time, I’m a finisher. I’ll tough out a bad book, a crappy movie or numerous other tasks that annoy or bother me because I don’t like to quit. But sometimes, you’ve got to know when to fold ’em and know when to walk away.
Summer is a great time to do more reading for fun. I started several books this year that just didn’t draw me in. I gave them a fair shot and really tried to like them. Some were by authors I have enjoyed immensely in the past. But these books just didn’t do it for me. I gave it the 100-page college try and then abandoned them. And I’m not at all sad about it. As a result, I picked up books that I did enjoy and made more time for them. I have no regrets.
Movies or TV Series
Because we can now stream movies and TV in about 15 different ways, our family loves some evening time in front of the flat screen. We’ve watched some really fun movies and series together this summer, but we’ve also given up on things that disappointed. It’s a little hard to walk away from a Netflix series when you’ve invested time into several seasons. But sometimes things just start to stink, and you could spend your time doing something more entertaining. Flip the channel.
I speak often about the power of “no,” but that is a hard word to utter. Particularly if you’ve served on a committee for a long time, or your child has participated in a sport or played an instrument for years. We often feel obligated to others around us or focus on the time we’ve put in or the money we’ve spent. But if continuing to do an activity is truly making you miserable, it’s time to examine the value in your life. This ain’t a dress rehearsal, people! If you continue to say “yes” to something you hate, you’re probably inadvertently saying “no” to something you might love. Cut bait and move on.
This is a tricky one, but we have all had energy vampires in our lives before. Those people who truly suck the fun and joy out of us every time we’re around them. If this is a family member or a longtime friend, it may be appropriate to confront them about this behavior and try to maintain the relationship. But if that doesn’t seem possible, it might be time to break up with them and move on. I like people with contagious energy, not those who steal from my reserves.
As you head back into fall and routine and schedules, take a look around at those things you might be able to quit. Understand that quitting something not-so-great may just open up a space for something amazing.