Sunday, September 14, 2014

Strategic quitting - the power of opportunity cost

Wayne Gretzky quit baseball and lacrosse to play hockey. The 'Great One' skipped the three-year waiting period to get into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Quitter?
Suppose you realize you're climbing the wrong mountain. Is it quitting to descend and climb another one?
Winners are simply better quitters than the rest of us. Strategic quitting frees them up so they can focus their efforts and excel at what matters to them.
It's a question of opportunity cost: What do you want to accomplish and what are you willing to give up to accomplish it?
Quitting isn't all about giving things up. It's a trade. What do you get in exchange? Freedom. You get the freedom to do exactly what you want with the time you were spending on the activity before. You can shake things up.
Just make sure you're quitting for the right reasons. You need to be capable of follow through. There's a big difference between choosing not to see something through and not being able to.
Clearing away the chaff and focusing on something important is a powerful way of getting things done.
If you've found a comfortable niche, it's hard to go through the pain of changing your behaviour, even if you know the grass on other side is going to be really green. (And it might not be once you get there.)
When you're shooting for that big win, know before hand that getting there is going to be hard. If you decide on your criteria for quitting in advance you'll do a better job of keeping the pain and the rewards in perspective than you will if you simply decide to quit when the going gets tough. 
This sort of thinking takes a great deal of self reflection and understanding. Develop that self awareness. Pay attention to what attracts you to something as well as what's missing when you decide you're done with it.
Q: How long should you stay at something?
A: However long it takes to get what you came for.

Q: How do you decide what you came for?

A: You don't, you discover it.

Q: How do you discover it?

A: You notice what isn't there anymore when you feel like leaving.
—Barbara Sher, Refuse to Choose.

1 comment:

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