” Winners never quit and quitters never win” – Vince Lombardi

I disagree. Of course for the purposes of a sports team with a goal of winning a championship this is likely true. Everyone on the team should have the singular goal of winning. In sports, it’s win or lose. Not everything is as straightforward to read.

Sometimes quitting is the best option. Seth Godin has a term called “strategic quitting” which is the idea of quitting certain tactics or strategies in pursuit of the overall goal. So whether quitting is right for you depends on your goal and your current activities.

If your goal is to amass as much money as possible (think Forbes rich list money) and you work a full-time job, you likely need to quit. No employed position is going to get you there. The strategy (your job) doesn’t match your goal (Forbes list).

Let’s say your goal is to become a professional musician. You practice every day, you take lessons but you aren’t noticing much improvement. If you’ve been doing this for years, it’s likely you are already fairly accomplished and improvement will be more incremental and less noticeable. You are growing frustrated with the perceived lack of progress, should you quit? Yes and no. No, you shouldn’t quit practising or music entirely if becoming a professional musician is the goal. You should consider quitting the way you practice, the type of lessons you take, the practices with a certain tutor or teacher. You aren’t quitting the goal, you are quitting the strategy or tactic.

The biggest hindrance to figuring out if and when to quit is not knowing you goal. There are a million and one articles and books on goal-setting and finding what you are passionate about. The idea is to learn and try things out. If it doesn’t feel like it is for you, then quit. Quit enough times until you find something you know you feel strongly about. Figure out your values and your goal and stick to them. Everything else can change in pursuit of your goals and values.

If you value freedom, quit paths that don’t offer freedom. If you value time with people, quit things accordingly. It really is about knowing what you want that makes the decision to quit a lot easier.

Sometimes winners do quit.