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Here in America we are obsessed with winning. Obsessed with stories about persevering against all odds in order to finally, after great struggle, win the day. These stories are thrilling and inspiring, but they overlook the less glamorous, very un-Hollywood-like path to happiness and satisfaction – quitting to win.
 

A recent Psychology Today magazine published an article about three well-known entrepreneurs and businessmen who quit to win – Steve Jobs, Howard Schultz (Starbucks) and Henry Ford. They all quit and left behind some aspect of their life in order to focus on another more passionate avenue that called to them. The article went on to point out that when faced with “complexity and uncertainty, most people lack the mental acuity to kill pet projects or close doors on distracting opportunities.” Yet, it is this exact quality that often opens the door to greater success for people.

 

Sometimes you have to quit to win in your life.

 

It could be that you are in a bad job, a bad relationship or a bad financial situation. Whatever it is you are suffering through, the true challenge is mustering the courage to quit that path for something you think, feel or believe is more favorable.

 

Often, we feel as if we need to persevere and endure the hardships of life, as if that pain and suffering will be what earns us the reward we seek. But this suffering more likely just gives us great dissatisfaction and stress, which actually begs a much simpler question:

 

Do you want to be a hero, or do you want to be happy?

 

Personally, I like to follow The Rule of Water: When confronted with obstacles in life, water gracefully chooses the path of least resistance and flows around the obstacle, leaving the fight and struggle behind.

 

Some would say this is taking the easy way out. But to those who see the water reach its final destination, they see it as victory.

 

Quitting is letting go of things (or people) that are sucking the life out of you so you can do more things that will bring you strength.

– Osayi Osar-Emokpae, Impossible Is Stupid

 

Too many of us wear struggle and suffering as a badge of honor. It is as if that suffering makes the end result more rewarding. In elementary school, we all learned that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Every time we engage in suffering of some kind, consider it a deviation from that straight line and a detour from the end result you truly wish to achieve in your life.

 
Today, why not take a moment to reach into your heart and find the courage to quit that one thing that is sucking the life from you. There is no doubt that in doing so, tomorrow’s sunrise will seem much brighter!
 
 
Photo Credit: Brenda Tharp, http://www.brendatharpphotography.com

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