Just came across a quote which made me thoughtful:
“Life is not about gutting out every situation. It’s about identifying opportunity or the lack thereof. If your pride is all that is standing in the way of quitting, quit. The right people won’t care and the wrong people don’t matter. If you know you’re on the right path, persevere though the pain. It will be worth it.” — Seth Godin
In an earlier post I wrote last year, I had talked about how I had grown up believing I could achieve anything with sheer grit and hard work. It’s only been recently after life had led me on some not-so-well-trodden paths that I realised that this belief I had isn’t always true. That sometimes it’s not about “gutting it out” (I like that phrase) and that one needs to know when to quit. It’s not failure, it’s about identifying the “lack of opportunity” and choosing to move on.
That said, I suppose the difficulty may not really be the quitting, but whether a particular situation is “right path” or “lack of opportunity”, i.e., how do I know if I am supposed to persevere or quit?!
In thinking about this issue, I thought I would recap some of the factors which I have relied on previously to identify a “lack of opportunity” versus “right path” situation.
Indicators of a “lack of opportunity” situation (in no particular order):
- No support from close ones or people whose opinions you respect (i.e. they too do not think this is worth pursuing)
- No sense of peace internally
- You are going nowhere – not seeing any fruit/result (I know this is tricky though – when is the cutoff point to make this determination?? I think this has to go in combination with other factors)
- Specific word from God (spoken or written)
- Opportunity fizzles out on its own (supposing you’ve done what you can and the outcome is out of your control). In which case, lesson is to LET IT GO and move on to other things.
- Constantly feeling distracted
Indicators of the “right path” (in no particular order):
- Small victories (amongst the huge challenges), which encourage you along the way.
- Sense of fulfilment and contentment (This doesn’t mean no complaints or 100% happy. I define this as going to bed after a day’s work NOT thinking about doing something else)
- (Good) things happen which you did not expect/plan.
Maybe having lists like those above would be helpful in figuring out what to axe and what to pursue this year as we face 2012. That said, as fearful as I am of regrets and making the wrong decision / wasting time, I guess I have started to learn that a “lack of opportunity” situation may sometimes be a stepping stone to the “right path”, and that I should not be so scared of it.
Any comments and additions to the lists above would be helpful!