Quit Strategically

My kids enjoy riddles and the other day I asked them this: “What have we all seen but will never see again?”

Have you heard this one?

The answer? Yesterday.

Of course, my 8 year old son had to point out that actually, it’s not entirely true because babies born after midnight today never saw yesterday. Smarty pants.

Am I making the most of my time? Are you?

The point is, we’re all living with an hourglass timer that will never be flipped over. Once it’s done, it’s done.

As I mentioned in my video about success, I’ve been pondering whether I’m making a difference.

By the way, thank you very much for all your kind words and your assurance that my blogging tips really do make a difference to you. I hope I didn’t give the impression that I think this blog is a waste of time. I do enjoy it and I’m thrilled that it’s helpful to so many. Mostly I was asking myself if this is all I have to give. In other words, can I give more in another way too?

Recognizing the dip

I love to read and keep my nightstand & Kindle well-stocked with books. Last week I read The Dip* by Seth Godin. It’s about setting goals and the process of reaching them.

The Dip by Seth Godin

It explores that point in the process – he calls it “the dip – when you feel like you aren’t making any progress and you wonder if it’s all worth it. The dip often occurs right before you have a burst of progress.

Everyone has dips. Not everyone pushes through them.

Seth doesn’t say you should never quit. He says you should quit strategically. I totally agree.

Some quotes from the book:

“Never Quit”: What a spectacularly bad piece of advice…Never quit? Never quit wetting your bed? Or that job you had at Burger King in high school? Never quit selling a product that is now obsolete? Wait a minute. Didn’t that coach say quitting was a bad idea? Actually, quitting as a short-term strategy is a bad idea. Quitting for the long term is an excellent idea. I think the advice-giver meant to say, “Never quit something with great long-term potential just because you can’t deal with the stress of the moment.” Now that’s good advice.


Persistent people are able to visualize the idea of light at the end of the tunnel when others can’t see it. At the same time, the smartest people are realistic about not imagining light when there isn’t any.


Strategic quitting is the secret of successful organizations. Reactive quitting and serial quitting are the bane of those that strive (and fail) to get what they want. And most people do just that. They quit when it’s painful and stick when they can’t be bothered to quit.

I’ve been thinking about things I could quit strategically. What things am I not quitting that are hindering growth in other areas? In areas that really matter?

*There are affiliate links in this post.

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  1. says

    I just read that book last week too!

    My difficulty is that I see my “dip” and expect to press through it, but it’s growing clearer that none of that may be *now.*

    This is really scary for me, because not-pressing-forward looks like quitting, and feels like quitting too, which is heartbreaking for me, since the dream (noveling and storytelling) is so close to my heart.

    How do you tell the difference between a “delay” and a “quit”? How do you reassure yourself that this is the first and not the second? Is there any sort of… system for returning, so my subconscious quits freaking out about leaving half of my heart behind?

  2. says

    I just two minutes ago pressed publish on a post where in which I wrote that my husband quit his second job, and isn’t replacing it right now. He is now taking over teaching the kids 2 afternoons a week, so I can put more time into getting my blog up and running, but so far I have spent the last months doing anything but! I keep thinking is all this time blogging really worth it. Am I ever going to make more than $2 a month? Shouldn’t I be doing something that shows a faster return? This book you have just finished sounds like just the book I need.

  3. says

    So true. There are some things we should quit and others we give up on too soon because the it gets tough. I’m currently trying to figure out what I should quit because I just have too much going on, but it’s really hard to let go of things, and for the most part I love and believe in everything I do (except the day job, but that has to stay).

  4. says

    Amy, I’m also big on reading and on Saturday, I finished “Necessary Endings,” the recent book from Dr. Henry Cloud. He gives some objective ways to assess whether or not to give up (distinguishing between a “hope” and a “wish” that something — or someone — will change). Good stuff and recommended.

  5. says

    Thank you for the reminder summary of The Dip. I read it but could only remember the general idea of pushing through the hard stuff. I retyped those tidbits to cement them into my mushy brain!

  6. says

    I have been trying to quit feeling like I have to know every detail about a project or a subject before I take the plunge and try to accomplish something – it’s okay to be ignorant sometimes. :)

    I’d rather have a good plan today and get something done than have a perfect plan next year and have my idea be obsolete by then.

  7. says

    Since Dave died, time has weighed heavily on my mind and heart and seems everywhere I look or read, others have the same weight.
    Recently, I posted Time, The Gift of Eternity; there are seasons to all our lives and everyone is not in the same season. What’s good and right for one may be a bad decision for another. But, if “whatever it is” is taking away from God, our family, ourselves…then it’s either not right or not the right season and should be adjusted accordingly.
    Like a new piece of clothing…when one comes in the house, an old piece has to leave. So it is with projects…if we begin a new project, we should consider giving up something else. We can only cram/fit so much into our days and our God relationship, our family relationship and our me relationship should Never pay the price.

    • Amy says

      Thank you Sandra. I so appreciate your perspective and I know it comes from much hard experience and wisdom. Many blessings.

    • Amy says

      Hi Gary,

      Thanks so much for wanting to share it. Is the board online or offline? If it’s online, I’d appreciate it if you’d only publish a snippet (1-3 snippets) and then direct your readers here to read the post in its entirety. That way, neither of our sites get dinged for “duplicate content” by the search engines and it avoids all copyright infringement. Thank you for asking!

  8. says

    I’m quitting my job on June 29th. Not because I’ve done all I wanted to do or made enough to retire (I’m only 38!), but because I now have two wonderful children that my Hubby and I have decided need me at home. I’ve been working toward this goal for over a year now, and the end is in sight! Quitting will allow me to focus on what really matters — parenting and following God’s will for my life. I’m scared to death, but quitting this will be the start of something so much better!