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.