Actually, Winners Do Quit

I saw one of those motivational posters the other day that said “Winners Never Quit.” I’ve heard that for years. I‘ve seen similar posters forever. The premise of the posters seems to be that if you quit you’re a loser. 

 

Funny thing is, it’s not true. Winners actually quit all the time. 

 

In fact, I’d submit that the fastest way to lose is to never quit. Not quitting is one of the biggest mistakes that less successful consistently make. They may try news things but they never completely quit the old things that hold them back.

 

The most successful people know that much of their success in the coming year will come from what they quit doing. They know that in many cases they will need to quit something old in order to try something new.

 

If you don’t believe that then invest one day, just one day, to exam your actions.  After every time you do something stop for a few seconds and ask yourself if that “thing” you just did got you closer to a goal or not. Ask yourself if that “thing” you just did was productive or whether it was just something you have always done. Ask yourself exactly why you did it. 

 

If you’re like me, and most other people, you won’t be able to say with any level of specificity why you do many of the things you do. You’ll be able to explain the big things you do but likely not many of the little things that chew up most of the minutes in your day. 

 

Not being able to explain why you do what you do is what kills your productivity. Doing things simply because you have always done them destroys the discipline you need to reach your potential. 

 

I guarantee, no matter how successful you are, that there is something you frequently do that if you quit you would be more successful. There is likely something in your life that needs to change in order for you to be more successful. If that’s the case then you should know that nothing will change in your life until you quit doing something that you do everyday. 

 

Here’s an idea…quit reading motivational posters that say winners never quit. Start looking hard at all the things you do that pay zero dividends to you. Then win by quitting those things. When you quit unproductive activities you have to opportunity to start new more productive ones. 


You see, winners do quit but only so they can begin anew! 

If at First You Don’t Succeed….Quit!

Yes, you read that right. I know the popular thinking says to try again but really, what’s the point. It’s terrible advice. Actually the popular thinking says to try and try again but that’s even worse advice.

 

If you want to succeed then stop when you fail. Stop until you can figure out a better plan and then and only then should you try again. It’s possible the failure was even caused by not having a plan at all. 

 

I know planning isn’t fun for most people but it is an essential part of all long-term success. Successful people know that they aren’t “spending” time when planning, they are “investing” time. 

 

Even when the plan fails they get a return on their investment. The return comes from being able to pinpoint the cause of the failure and build a better plan for their next attempt. 

 

Despite what you may have heard and despite what you may have been told, there is nothing wrong with quitting. It can actually be healthy just so long as you begin again. Sometimes the fastest way forward is to take a step or two backward so you can rethink and regroup. 

 

That rethinking MUST include revisiting your plan to determine what needs to change before you try again. Never mindlessly try again. Trying again while doing the same thing is terrible advice. At least have some idea what went wrong. Why it went wrong and what needs to change to eliminate the cause of that particular failure from happening again. 

 

You may not succeed with your next attempt but at least you will not fail for the same reason. Successful people call that progress!

 

Somebody smarter than me said “If you always do what you’ve always done then you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” I know that’s true. I learned the truth in that statement when I tried and tried again without stopping to rethink and regroup. 


Don’t make the same mistake. Fail and then quit. Quit long enough to consider why the failure happened. Consider also what needs to change to prevent it from happening again. Once you have a better plan then by all means possible begin again because success is often just one better plan away. 

The Rules for Starting Over

If this post didn’t contain a single word other than the title that would still pretty well sum up the rules for starting over. 

There are no rules for starting over.

No requirements. No limitations. No reason you can’t. There is no right way or wrong way. There is just your way. You can start over whenever and however you want.

You may think you’re “too old” to begin again but consider these people who had the same thing said about them: 

Andrea Bocelli didn’t start singing opera seriously until the age of 34. Some “experts” told him it was too late to begin.

Phyllis Diller became a comedian at the age of 37. She was told by many club owners that she was “too old” to become a success.

Julia Child didn’t even learn to cook until she was almost 40 and didn’t launch her popular show until she was 50.

Harlan Sanders, the Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, was 66 when he began to promote his style of cooking and create an empire.

Each of these individuals had three things in common: they wanted more out of life than they were getting. They believed in themselves when others might have had doubts. They made a decision to begin again. 

Anyone who can make a decision can start anew! 

All that it takes is a decision that says my life is not heading in the direction that I thought it would so I’ll change directions now. It takes a decision and a commitment to do something different than you are doing now. 

This much is certain; if you want tomorrow to produce a different result than the one you have now then you’re going to have to do something different. You need to know and acknowledge that “different” requires change and it will likely be a moment by moment fight to accept the change. 

Here are just a few thoughts if you’re thinking you would like to steer yourself in another direction.

To start over you may need to admit your role in getting yourself where you are today. Until you accept responsibility for what you have, where you are, and why you made the decisions you did it will be very difficult to do anything differently. 

Consider what and who has held you back and decide immediately to eliminate or lesson their impact and influence on your life. Be honest with yourself, not every “friend” is truly a friend. Future success is not just about what you start doing, it may well be even more about what you stop doing.

Take some time to plan and strategize. Decide what you’re willing to invest and when you’re thinking investment don’t just think about money, think about time too. Change takes time, learning new habits takes time. Don’t underestimate the importance of budgeting time to eliminate old habits and replace them with new ones.

Dreams have no age limits but our minds often do. If you think you’re too old the first thing you need to change is your mind. 

Once you do that anything is possible. 

Spring Cleaning for Success

Spring CleaningIt’s Springtime! I know it is because the calendar says so. As I write this post I am in Minneapolis, Minnesota. That’s in the northern part of the U.S. and the calendar is the only indication I have that it’s really spring. The temperatures are running WAY below normal, there is plenty of snow on the ground and not a single golf course is open for play.

It feels like we should still be hibernating but the calendar doesn’t lie. Nature is renewing itself and soon trees will be budding, grass will be growing and flowers will be popping up. It’s Springtime!

Growing up that always meant throwing the windows and doors open and letting some fresh air into the house. It was closed up against the cold all winter and the fresh air somehow made everything seem new again.

Along with the fresh air and nature’s handiwork outside came some serious indoor cleaning. Spring Cleaning! It made the house seem almost new. A fresh start a quarter of the way through the year.

How about you? Could you use some fresh air? A little attitude adjustment? Do you have ideas and dreams that have been gathering dust so far in 2013? Did your 2013 plan get put on a shelf behind some seemingly insurmountable problem?

Maybe you need some Spring Cleaning for yourself.

Spring is a great time for reflection on how your year is going. You’re far enough into it to see how it might finish if you stay your current course. It’s early enough for a course correction if where you’re heading is not the direction you intended to go.

Dust off your plan, if you haven’t looked at it in a while today is the perfect time to renew your commitment to get it done. If you just can’t get yourself going then remember why you made the plan in the first place.

Re-dream your dream!

When the year started remember all the great things that were going to happen in 2013? You have three-quarters of the year remaining to make them happen. Three-quarters! Today is the perfect day to start!

If some “realities” have set in and it’s clear some stuff is happening (or not) that you didn’t anticipate then maybe your plan or your dream needs a little adjustment. That’s perfectly okay. There is not a single thing wrong with making changes to your plan when things outside of your control change as well.

Maybe you’ve just changed your mind about your goals, dreams or objectives. That’s perfectly okay too. Just remember, just because your original thinking changed doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to go through the remainder of the year without a plan. Make a new one! You’ve got a ton of valuable time left in 2013 and it’s WAY too early to begin your “coast” into 2014.

Have I mentioned that TODAY is the perfect day to begin anew?