My time spent in the happiness of pursuit — the journey not the destination — has slowly transitioned towards the creation of meaning. We often conflate meaning with happiness. We hope that if we find happiness, we’ll also find meaning, but they aren’t the same.
Happiness derives from the influence we have in directing our lives towards a desired outcome. If you want to be a famous writer but feel that luck is how you find an agent and that your sales bend to the whims of market forces, then that feeling of powerlessness to make things better will leave you unhappy. On the other hand, if you feel that you have the power to build a loyal fan base that will stand behind your work then that sense of control over your destiny makes you happy.
Meaning is a feeling of connection you have to what you do. If you want to be a famous writer, what would make all those hours in front of the blank page worth it? If you never got published, would the time spent still be meaningful?
People learn quitting by trial and error. Sometimes we get it right, but when we do it wrong, our self-esteem takes the brunt of that decision. We feel like a failure for not sticking it through or we feel stupid for attempting the endeavor in the first place.
Everything we do has opportunity costs. The time, energy and resources that we commit into one area can’t be used towards other opportunities unless we quit. Quitting dead ends and lost causes allows us to refocus and re-allocate our efforts into other opportunities that improve our lives.
If we re-frame quitting, not as something we do, but instead as a tool to be used, then learning how to use quitting correctly gives us another skill that can help us with our lives.
Incorrect usage of quitting are:
1. Not quitting at all
2. Quitting at the wrong time
3. Quitting when you should keep going