Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog

Never Give Up! — How is “letting go” not “giving up,” and when is experiencing failure not “failing”?
October 5, 2011, 8:05 am
Filed under: Inspiration, Reflections

….[S]ometimes quitting lets us create space to create the next thing. My career wasn’t going to be over just because I didn’t stick to the firm I had started, and built and led for 11 years.

While your story of wanting to quit will certainly differ from mine, I want to share this: just because you stop doing something doesn’t mean you are quitting. Sometimes it’s bravery to know it’s time to stop and walk away. Experiencing failure isn’t the same thing as failing. Letting go doesn’t mean you’re giving up. And stopping isn’t quitting; it is just a pause that lets you sort out where you’ll turn next. In our black-and-white, win-or-lose society, we admonish quitters and we celebrate survivors. But life is more nuanced than that.

When might it be your time to “quit”? I can’t answer that for you, but I can give you this as a guideline: You can quit things like businesses or projects if you know they are merely one means to your passion. You know if you’ve done your very best to make it work. But what you can’t quit is fighting for your purpose, and living, and finding new, more effective ways to bring forth your passions in the world. We can quit things, but what we can’t quit is fighting for our dreams.

The above is an excerpt from a Harvard Business Review article by Nilofer Merchant, which was cited by  Both Merchant’s personal story and my nephew’s story are heartfelt and rather harrowing. 


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