If you were raised in America, and you’re still alive today, you were probably raised with the notion that quitting is bad. It’s instilled in us early on in life that quitting a hobby (even if we’re good at it), quitting a job, quitting anything, is bad. Maybe you were verbally criticized for quitting boyscouts as a kid, or your mother scolded you for quitting a job, or your friend expresses grave concern now that you’ve ended a romantic relationship.
We’ve all faced some kind of negative social interaction from quitting or thinking about quitting something.
This belief is as old as America itself.
This country was founded and maintained on the old, dusty idea that you should never quit, even if you’re miserable. -And we call THAT “discipline”.
Coupled with the notion that the only respectable way to live is to “Work, pay bills, and die” and you get a large population of miserable, oppressed true-selves that think anything outside of that box is bad or unnatural or self-destructive
This author is here to challenge that idea.
Each of us has within us a “true self”. I’ve often referred to it as one’s “intrinsic motivation”. This part of you is the you when no one is around. This part of you is the constant in your life. They cannot be removed. They can grow, but they cannot be removed. They decide what your interests, passions, and desires are. -And I propose, they should be deciding what you do with your life, more importantly, what you don’t do.
My argument for quitting is rooted in my deeply held belief that the only way to achieve any sort of happiness and satisfaction in life, we must do what we are intrinsically motivated to.
For some, this looks like helping people.
For some, this looks like creating something.
Maybe it’s writing, a particular field of work, or helping the environment.
There are a million reasons we may deviate, one of them being survival in the case of a shitty job, but those circumstances don’t last forever. I don’t know about you but the ache I feel in my heart when I’m doing something that doesn’t serve me in any meaningful way, is enough to keep me away. I’ve never moved greater mountains, with more quickness than when I felt trapped in a shitty job.
There a clear disconnect these days between the lives we live and the lives we want and we wonder why depression and anxiety and drugs are so prevalent. Living your life for others is what is self-destructive.
I also want to tackle the idea that sticking to something that makes you miserable is having “discipline”. There is no honor or nobility in torturing yourself. In my book, discipline is a vital part of intentional living. It’s having a clear idea of what you want and going after it against all odds. Not having actual discipline is what is accepted widely these days. Keeping that shitty job/hobby is like baking a cake and never progressing past “Stir.” because society told you that baking a cake was somehow bad.
Quit that shitty job.
Quit that hobby you’re good at but hate.
Quit living a life to please others and find what serves you.
Start the work that fills you with joy and purpose.
Start that hobby you’ve been curious about. Date around with hobbies even.
Build meaningful relationships with people who elevate you to grow and be that true you.
Let me know how that goes. 🙏🖤