OK, just finished the book by the blog post’s namesake.
“I think I can I think I can…” how many of us have been indoctrinated by the little engine? Perseverance trumps talent. Never, ever, ever, ever give up. Blah blah blah, ad nauseam.
How many of us have heard these phrases over and over again?
Well, after reading this book, and coupled with being obsessed with failure of late, I’m not so sure the perseverance IS the course in every case moving forward. But, what’s most interesting is–when is it OK to keep moving forward and pushing your idea/plan/goal, and when is it OK to finally cut bait? Who truly has mastered the art of knowing when to choose which path?
This book helps somewhat with the lines, but they’re not exactly black and white.
When your values are incongruent with your goals = that’s an easy one. You should quit on that scenario, as your values should be core to who you are. As I’ve said here before, without your values, you have nothing. To thine own self be true is an adage I CAN get behind.
The trickier part is in the gray areas. Like, when your whole life and identity have been wrapped up in one thing, but that thing isn’t making you happy anymore or you don’t know what will be next if you leave that thing behind. Or, if you have two conflicting goals. That’s harder. I don’t have better answers here, just more questions.
What I do know for sure is that our society LOVES a good little engine that could story. We want positive outcomes after hard work, toil and sacrifice. We love the David winning story. But, after reading this book and thinking about this a lot lately, I’m not so sure that never giving up is the right answer. After all, never say never, right?
Life is messy and complicated. I think the best we can do with determining whether or not to quit is to just listen to our guts. I’ve discussed this here before. There’s neuroscience in our guts. We just have to listen to it. Don’t ignore the inner voice…
That’s all I’ve got, today. That, and a whole lot more questions…