Yes, you read it right. WINNERS are QUITTERS. Successful people quit every day.
Allow me to explain myself.
Successful people quit so many things on a daily basis – they make a habit out of quitting. You may have heard the age old adage – “Winners never quit. Quitters never win”. I think that it is total cow-dung. Winners quit on a regular basis. If you think successful people never quit, you’ve got it all wrong.
Oh, yes, if you want to marry Emma Watson and you think persisting at it will get you into her life, her heart and that it will get her to marry you, by all means continue! If you are a woman, substitute Emma Watson in the previous sentence with Andrew Garfield. It’s a pipe dream and unless you are someone of equal persona, chances are that, it is going to remain just that – a dream. The same goes to the dream of becoming a millionaire by winning the lottery, the dream of going to mars, etc. If you think persisting and believing that you will accomplish such things, you will remain exactly where you are right now, even after fifty years.
The real deal in becoming successful, in becoming a winner is quitting.
What exactly do winners quit?
Winners quit the wrong things. Every successful person has certain goals that they are driven by ambition to accomplish. There are some things that contribute to those goals. And then there are some other things that don’t. Successful people: they say NO to those things that don’t contribute to their goals. They say YES to those things that directly or indirectly contribute to their goals. They pursue only those things that take them forward in pursuit of their goals and they QUIT those things that don’t.
Successful people know WHAT exactly they should quit, WHEN they should quit and WHY they should quit. When you are aware of the why, the how will automatically be taken care of.
The secret to knowing what to quit lies in knowing EXACTLY what you want and what you don’t want. Only when you are clear about your goals will you be able to actually know what are the things that will contribute to those goals and what are the things that won’t.
I was working in my office today. I use to keep humming my favorite songs while working and I am a pretty decent singer for an amateur, people say. The office has a music club called “Resonance” which arranges regular karaoke and performances every week. A colleague of mine asked me to give it a shot. I did think about it for a while because my ultimate dream is to become a musician. But then, I thought about my goals for the next three years – to grow this blog into a million people readership blog, to learn finance & investing, to read the books on my bucket list and to build my body. After thinking, I said, “NO, Thank you!”. She asked me why I won’t take it up. I said, “it’s probably not a better investment of my time.” She was like, “What do you mean? You can definitely learn something through that experience. If not anything else, you will probably get an experience being on stage, singing with a mic, in front of many people!”. She had a point. That can definitely happen. That experience will be very much worth my while. But in the time that I spend in the club, I can probably take classical music lessons and become well trained, or I can probably take piano lessons or something similar, but definitely better than being in that club. Yet, I said, “No. Not now”. Why? Because, right now, taking up music related activities, may it be taking part in the music club or it be taking piano/classical music lessons, will not contribute directly or indirectly to my immediate goals. Better yet, the time I might spend on that can be spent on those things that will actually contribute to my goals. You get the point, right?
Charles T. Munger quit practicing law, left his famous law firm in order to start his investment firm – Berkshire Hathaway Corporation from which we all know Warren Buffet as the main investor. Little do we know of Charles T. Munger. He was as much responsible for that corporation’s rise to fame, as Mr. Buffet was. Charles T. Munger graduated from Harvard Law with a Juris Doctor magna cum laude. He worked as a real estate attorney at Munger, Tolles & Olsen LLP. He worked as an attorney, practicing law for 17 years before he quit that job to start his own investing company. Now, why would someone who has a very reputed law firm in the country quit practicing and start an investment firm – an area which he didn’t specialize in? Charles Munger, even while he was working as a real estate attorney, was investing in real estate, stocks, and by the time he quit the law firm, he had learnt a lot of things about investing, through his experience in the field assisting his clients. But when he did realize that he was more passionate about investing, he started his own investing firm. Why did he quit his law practice and move out of his law firm? He quit because he realized that the law practice or his law firm would no longer contribute to the goals he had for his future – to become successful at investing and to build a very successful investment firm from the ground up.
This is just one of the many instances where the law of quitting worked. If you take a look at the history of many successful people – scientists, musicians, legends in sports, business, investing, technology, etc., you will often find this one very striking, yet overlookable pattern – that they quit everything else that wasn’t contributing to the things they wanted to accomplish and they pursued only those that contributed to their cause, directly or indirectly.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a student in school/college or a working professional or someone in search of a job, someone starting up a business. Regardless of who you are and where you are, you will often find that you are spending a lot of time on things that are in no way going to help you in your journey. It is at those times that you have to start saying those two magic words: “I Quit!”, or in better words, “No, Thanks!”. Since the latter sounds much better and positive, let’s stick with that.
So, learn to say YES only to the right things, only to those things that directly contribute to your cause, and NO to the rest of all things you wanna do in your life. Quitting those things, you will have improved your chances of success by a great deal.
What are the things that you wanna accomplish? What do you wanna be great at? What are the things that will directly or indirectly contribute to those goals? What are you doing right now in your life, every single day? What among the things you do every day are contributing directly to your goals? What among the things you do every day are not contributing at all?
Sometimes, finding the answers is easy. The difficult part is asking the right questions. If you have the answer to the questions above, you will know what to do.
What are the struggles you are facing in quitting? What are your answers? Leave the answers in the comments section below and get to work immediately!
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