This microbook is a summary/original review based on the book: The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)
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We hear it all the time that winners don't give up, or that giving up is a bad and negative attitude. But this isn't always true, at times the best decision is to 'give up.' Winners know how to identify the right time to give up and do it quickly, devoting their efforts and time to other activities.
This book will help you see if what you are doing can lead you to your long-term goals or not. It will also help you make the right decisions if you have to give up and redirect your activities and efforts to what matters to you.
Talent is not a rare thing, but it takes hard work and dedication to stand out. After all, how can we get there? Through practice - and not letting fate or luck alone solve situations. The most accurate way to get to the top is to ensure that you work harder than anyone else who has the same goals as you.
We should also improve our willingness to give up when needed. In other words, we must perfect our ability to measure whether a work or project will lead us to the desired results, or whether our energy, time, or talent should be devoted to other things. Here, the philosophy of 'positive withdrawal' needs to be considered, observing two things.
First, its necessary to define our long-term goals, and then sharpen our awareness so that our current achievements will lead us to a meaningful learning curve.
Second, we must know if we have the determination to continue working hard to achieve the first place.
Our inability to predict dead ends is usually the result of optimistic complacency about where we are going. For many of us, it is a waste of time, and few people are aware of it. It is crucial that you be able to assess whether your actions are taking you in a positive direction; while remaining alert to anything that may delay or disrupt you. Once you evaluate what is going in the right direction, you can start working. Anything worth achieving in life will require hard work, dedication, and strength in the face of adversity. This force, along with 'knowing when to stop,' is what separates success stories and winners from others.
Sometimes it's easy to get comfortable being mediocre at something rather than giving up. Bruce Lee said, "Running water never goes stale, so keep flowing. "That means that since you're constantly challenging yourself and growing in the right direction, you will be on the right path. But if your "water" is flowing slowly like in a pond, you will inevitably become stagnant - and if you feel that things are moving in that direction, maybe it's time to give up. Learn to recognize the signs so that you focus your energy on the critical things.
If you cannot be the best, why bother? It's a controversial statement, but that message is essential, especially when you need to decide whether to give up or not.
The difference between 'number one' and the closest competitors is often much larger than we think. For example, for every new artist entering the Billboard 200 rankings, you'll also see the usual favorites like Adele, Drake and Justin Bieber, who continue to sell their albums. Drake's album, Views, sold 600,000 copies in its first week and continued to sell from 40,000 to 50,000 a week until October 2016. Compared to the album by a lesser-known musician like Mac Miller, his new album recently sold 48,000 copies in his first week, coming in second just after Drake's album that was already in its twentieth week. A week later, Miller had fallen to the 30th place, while Drake remained consistent and fell only to 2nd place.
Be it an artist, an app or advertising agencies, those who have secured the top position are usually ahead, with a much larger market share than we can imagine: the market loves a clear winner, and those who can separate from others can expect a dominant portion of the rewards.
There are two main reasons for this. First, in a supersaturated market, people want to feel confident about their choices. They don't want to take risks - and a product or person who dominates the market passes a sense of security that guarantees their place at the top. Secondly, the competition at the top is brutal - there can only be one 'number one'. When you get there, maintaining that position gives you a reputation that will only make your market value increase.
Anyone who hires you, buys from you, or chooses your products, does this because they believe you are the "number one" at that moment. So if you aren't dedicating yourself enough to be the best, why bother? Giving up on something you know won't be able to strive to be the best, will help you have more free time to devote and succeed in other areas. Giving up cleverly is a part of your journey to reach the top.
We all go through periods in life and career where we feel frustrated as if we were working hard to get somewhere that is far away. But most of us accept that hard work is a necessary and natural process - nothing worthwhile is easily achieved. The real ability is to be able to determine if that hard work will be worth it: is all this effort taking us to a clear and defined place, or is it leading us to a dead end?
Once you have committed yourself, you need to see your efforts from other perspectives, because giving in half way is much more foolish than starting something you shouldn't do. But you must strive to take a step in the right direction. For example, if you are in the process of scaling up your business or production, then it pays to focus on that, even if the results aren't spontaneous. You are advancing, but you can't measure your results until the process is complete. The same applies to sales, which won't necessarily grow instantaneously following your operations, and also for periods in which you may be considering increasing your investments.
Commitment is also necessary at some point where your career forces you to develop new skills and encourages your understanding and education, although hard work can make you feel momentarily stuck. It's also important to note your long-term goals. The chances of developing new skills should be harnessed for paying long-term dividends, even if they require you to keep your feet on the ground for a period before you see tangible progress. Similarly, if you have an opportunity to develop a working relationship or gain valuable experiences that will help your progress in the future, it pays to focus on it, even if your tasks are not challenging your skills or circumstances aren't ideals. Anyone who starts out in a profession serving coffees or sealing envelopes before they grow up can confirm this: often the important thing isn't what you know but who you know.
All these situations and processes allow a measurable advance in growth and potential. Giving up during these processes demonstrates nothing but a lack of direction and determination, completely ending the hard work and time invested. In those hours, the smartest thing to do is keep your head up and go on. But if there's no progression going on, maybe it's time to give up.
The best time to decide when to stop is probably not when you're already stagnant and in a dead-end situation. Instead, you should start thinking about when to give up while still at the top, moving in the right direction, and still being challenged in everything you do. This may sound like confusing advice, but it's a matter of staying ahead of the game.
When you are feeling well and understand your situation, it is much easier to rationally consider what would make you stop (other than when you feel stressed or pessimistic and ready to throw in the towel and give up). Planning the future considering what would make your current situation unsatisfactory enough to give up is a great strategy.
As an example, you could start by sketching a list of "problematic" signs at the workplace. Examples may include:
I am beginning to feel devalued and not challenged.
My superiors aren't giving me responsibilities, although I feel that I am ready and capable.
I have no scope for my development and progression.
The only way to move is sideways.
I implemented a new idea, and it failed.
Then write a statement to yourself, stating how - if any of these indicators manifest in real life - you would give up. Write strong and positive comments like "I would give up if I felt that my progress stalled despite my efforts," or "stopping would allow me to dedicate my time and talent in other ways." This process helps give you a clearer picture of how to identify a situation that is starting to get in the way, and how you would act in that scenario.
Establishing what circumstances would lead you to give up is the perfect way to deal with situations that aren't productive. That way, you can continue to devote yourself to your goal, or if so, you will know that you should give up.
The fundamental question they have in common is that everyone had the tenacity, self-confidence, and intelligence to know when their talents were not utilized effectively. Giving up an education involves the risk of being considered a failure. But they all ignored outside pressures, relied on their instincts, and achieved success.
Giving up smartly is a tactic. This doesn't mean abandoning your dreams and ambitions. Remember: when one door closes, another opens. Ask yourself these three crucial questions before you consider giving up on something.
Am I acting rationally or impulsively? If you want to give up because you have thought quietly about your situation, or have felt stagnant for a while and still think this is a good idea; trust your judgment. If you are considering giving up spontaneously because of a stressful development or for a particular period, it is wiser to endure. Giving up should be a serene and empowered choice, it should never be a drastic and rapid reaction.
Whose opinion am I considering? And who am I trying to impress? If giving up went through your head, you're probably not getting along with your boss, company, market, etc., and that should be a factor to consider when making a decision.
Which way am I heading? As stated in the previous sections, there are periods when we need to be persistent and diligent to proceed. At times when we are not going anywhere, or even walking backward, we must give up intelligently if we are to achieve our long-term goals.
Giving up successfully is a powerful tool to advance and to fruition our ambitions, but it's a decision that needs to be made with caution. Staying aware of the countless success stories that "started with a quit," and all the considerations you need to have before you give up, will help you make the right decision at the right time.
Sometimes giving up will be the right thing to do. But at other times, it may seem like a difficult decision, even after considering all the points discussed earlier. Here are some more vital points to think about if you do not yet know what the right attitude is.
Consider whether your persistence will be worth it in the long run and whether you can turn a dead end into a period of progression. If you know that your resume will look strong with a few more years of experience in your current job, even if your job becomes repetitive and boring then you can use that ambition to motivate yourself for another year of work by giving up a little more ahead. Planning exactly when you are going to give up means scheduling an advantageous deadline, rather than considering that the situation needs to be resolved immediately. Ask yourself how you would use the freedom you would gain by giving up a job, a task, or a project, to get to the position where things are progressing again.
Many give up because they aren't determined enough to work hard to get to the top, wasting a lot of time and effort and then reaching a dead-end. If you feel discouraged because you know deep down you don't have the resilience you need to fight and be the best at what you do, then that's a clear indicator that you should spend your energy on something else. Likewise, if you know you worked hard to get where you are, but now you feel comfortable and relaxed in your position, this is also a great time to give up - not to give up completely, but to find a way to direct your talents so that you continue to be challenged, and always ahead of the game.
Deciding to give up will always be very personal and influenced by countless factors that will depend on the individual. Taking time to think about how you feel about your journey - and if you can see the benefits of it - will allow you to make the right decision at the right time so that you keep moving in the right direction while remaining in control of your destiny.
Once you understand that giving up doesn't always have negative connotations, you can use quitting as an efficient method to achieve success and its true potential. And you will be ready to face your professional life with renewed vigor.
Learn to distinguish between situations where it's wise to remain focused and situations where all signs suggest its time to change - and develop a customized plan for you to give up smartly when you need it. Be aware that if you give up, you will be in good company, and imagine "giving up" as a positive tool to reach your progress. Remember all the points raised here that will help you make bold decisions when the time is right and will equip you with a powerful tool that is knowing the right time to quit.
Good book, right? What do you think of also reading 'Switch,' by Dan Heath and Chip Heat? They talk a little about how to make the necessary changes in your life and overcome the resistance!
One of the foremost marketing gurus of the modern age, Seth Godin is an American blogger, entrepreneur, and bestselling author. A former dot-com business executive, Seth Godin used his innovative company Yoyodyne to promote the concept of permission marketin... (Read more)
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