“I do not know the word ‘quit.’ Either I never did, or I have abolished it.” Susan Butcher
Quitting has always held the connotation of loss or a lack of discipline or motivation. But quitting can be a good thing. Quitting a bad habit can be a great thing, if it is a habit that causes health issues over the long-term, or it doesn’t help you produce something.
Quitting can also be good if we are chasing something that we really aren’t interested in. I have been caught up pursuing a goal because I read it online and wanted to add that to my list of things to do. After a time, I realize that I am not willing to pay the price that the goal requires to achieve it. This is really about being honest with one’s self. Other people’s goals are not your goals. Quitting a goal then would be justified because it does not serve you or your purpose.
Your purpose is something that when discovered and embraced can change your life. Look at the greats like Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, or Stephen King. Each of these people found their purpose–their calling if you will. Not only did they live a life of successful pursuits, but also found what “woke them up every morning.” This should be our true goal. To find that “thing” that drives us, pushes us, and invigorates us. Once we find the thing that invokes our passion, nothing will stop us in the pursuit of these things. Use this as a means of setting the goals that are really meaningful to you.
Goals that are meaningful provide a benefit to us when we have met them. Goals like improving our diets or losing weight, learning something new, reading books, starting a journaling practice, and many others have life-long benefits. They also help us improve ourselves one step at a time. Some goals are finite.
Finite Goals are those goals that have a distinct beginning and a distinct end. Once you achieve them you know it because you’ve hit a number of books read or you’ve finished a rough draft of your book. Goals without end are what I call infinite goals. These goals have no end. These goals have little rest stops, but drive you to the next rest stop. Improving your health, your intellect, your spirituality, your internal character, are all examples of these infinite goals. Interestingly, when you hit a milestone with one of these goals, they improve your capability with the other goals and drive you forward.
This is one of the primary reasons that I read and re-read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey, every year. The framework he presents in this book involves self-improvement but on our characters. The internal character is the key to this methodology. All 7 habits are geared toward these infinite habits. As you improve each habit, your capability improves, and you can now improve that habit more. If you improve your ability in one habit, your capability to improve the other habits also increases. Thus, as you improve, your capability to do more improves, and you reach a new plateau to being working from, much like a spiral.
If you have never read this book, I highly recommend it. It is a life-changer if you really commit to the things it prescribes. All of the habits fall into the infinite goal category and will continue to add a freshness and motivation to your life. Once you’ve read it and start to apply what is within its pages, you’ll discover as I did that these habits are not a one-time thing, but a lifetime of work that will spur you on to ever-greater heights.
So, set goals that “wake you up”. Get rid of the goals that you have to “force” yourself to do. You can always come back to them. Work on those goals that you really want, and you’ll have less trouble pursuing them.
Until next time…