It’s so hard to quit, and we’ve been conditioned since we were little not to give up (quitters never win, etc). There’s some amazing books about the importance of quitting, and many of the top musicians I have worked with spend more time quitting than sticking with things that aren’t working. But how to choose? Here are 7 questions I use to see what I should stick with, and what I should ditch:
1. Is there an upward trend, even if it’s subtle?
If there’s been a general trend upward for a consistent period of time, there’s a good chance that might happen in the future with a few tweaks.
2. Am I enjoying it, even if I’m not seeing progress?
If it’s relaxing and enjoyable, that will make me deal with a lot more crap than a less fun task would allow me. Conversely, if I hate something, there should be no amount of “progress” that should keep me doing it.
3. What could I do instead of what I’m doing right now?
When we think of quitting, we think of an empty space instead of something else perhaps equally as good or better. We’ve got to remember the opportunities that might appear because of the extra time/energy could be amazing.
4. What would it look like if I kept up at this pace in 10 years? Could I live with that result?
If I can’t see myself being happy with the worst possible outcome of what I’m doing right now in 10 years, I definitely need to bail.
5. Is this something that is important, or is it necessary?
If it’s not important but necessary, I should figure out a way to outsource or eliminate it.
6. What would happen if I quit, not just to me, but the people that are involved?
If someone would get really hurt by me bailing on something, I have the responsibility of gracefully handing off my responsibilities.
7. What would my life look like without this in my life? How would I adjust?
Again, I need to rely on my imagination to think of not just an “empty space” in my life, but picture how I might compensate for the newfound time and energy.