When Losing is Winning

To quit or not to quit, that is the question. It may seem completely contrary to conventional wisdom, but sometimes losing is winning- you can easily win a battle but completely lose the war. Nobody will doubt that qualities such as grit, perseverance, and determination are desired and admirable qualities that should be strived after. It is not these qualities in and of themselves that cause us confusion in pursuing a particular lifestyle, rather it is the misappropriation and misapplication of perseverance and grit toward the wrong objective.

The first thing that needs to be made clear is the correct understanding and distinction between your VALUES and your VEHICLE. Your values are the foundational convictions and essential elements that you desire to build a lifestyle around- what you desire most in this life, the things that excite you and that you know will lead you to happiness. Your vehicle are the means through which you are going to manifest these desires: the job, the career, the business.

I get it, nobody wants to be labelled a quitter. But if your vehicle is not doing a very good job of delivering your lifestyle values, then maybe it is time that you took the next exit. It is not your lifestyle goals i.e. your values, that you are quitting on; what you are quitting on is an inevitable failure, which, funny enough, is a success. Why keep driving if you are on the road to nowhere?!

Sadly, the reason why so many of us quit on our lifestyle dreams is because we have made our vehicle and our values one thing- we have not been able to make a distinction between the two. So, when we find ourselves getting frustrated with the vehicle, that is, the job, the career, we think that it is because we have the wrong values. Remember you can and should quit on your vehicle if it is not bringing about your values! I would certainly prefer to lose a battle and win the war wouldn’t you?

Take some time now to determine what exactly are your values in life. Here are some examples of what people have shared with me as what they value in life, the things that they want to build a lifestyle around:

  •  Freedom to structure my days.
  • Location independence.
  • To be financially comfortable.
  • To spend as much time with family as possible
  • The ability to travel and see the world
  • Artistic and Creative expression
  • Variety and spontaneity
  • Being around a lot of people
  • Working in Solitude
  • A clear separation between work life and personal life
  • Working from home
  • Be my own boss

Once you have determined a list of your lifestyle values, then you can think about what kind of a vehicle, a career will best deliver these values. It may be as a part of a large company or corporation, or entrepreneurially individual, and perhaps partnerships.

BUT the next time you find yourself saying, “I am not a quitter!” Consider whether or not the perseverance of that path is actually leading you to where you desire to be. Quitting may be the most successful thing you have ever done!