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Knowing When To Say When.   2 comments

We’re all familiar with the phrase “nobody likes a quitter.”  It’s said like it’s an absolute.  Under no situations should you quit otherwise you’ll risk alienating yourself from others.  Of course we understand there are exceptions.  You won’t be looked down upon if you quit smoking.  In that case being a quitter is fine.  Mainly it refers to tasks you start that you should, in “nobody”s opinion be able to complete.

Well I’m not a big believer in “nobody likes a quitter.”  I’m more inclined to side with another common phrase “know when to say when.”  You see there are many occasions when knowing when to quit is actually a good thing for you.

Anybody who has watched Wheel of Fortune should get this.  How many times have you seen a contestant with a decent amount of money spin the wheel again because there is still money to be made.  And how many times has that decision ended in ruin when they hit the bankrupt wedge on the wheel.  That person didn’t know when to say when.

Now I’m assuming in most people’s lives the Wheel of Fortune example won’t be particularly relevant consider the very small percentage of the population that winds up on the show.  So what would be a more relevant example for the average person?  I’ll give two that happened to me in the last week.

First, I was doing a jump rope workout and it was going pretty well.  And then I tweaked my left ankle.  And that’s my “bad ankle.”  I was born club footed there and the surgery to correct it has left it a little weak.  That makes it easy to tweak.  Now the “nobody likes a quitter” group would tell me to cowboy up.  No pain, no gain.  But in reality I was feeling pain for a reason.  Now sometimes I feel the pain and it goes right away, so I kept going for a little longer.  But the pain didn’t go away.  So I knew it was time to stop.  I quit because I listened to my body.  It was telling me enough.  If I kept going, which I could have done, I risked making it worse.  And then I might be affecting other areas of my life if I couldn’t walk because I injured my ankle.  I knew it was time to say when.

Second, I fast regularly.  It isn’t a problem for me.  Usually it isn’t, anyway.  But the other day I felt something I don’t usually feel anymore.  Hunger.  Being keto adapted my body can generally find all the energy it needs from my onboard fat storage.  So fasting is pretty easy for a day or two.  This time I hadn’t even reached a day and I was struggling.  Now I didn’t just give in the moment I felt hunger.  I gave it some time.  Drank a glass of water to fill my stomach.  Played a video game to take my mind off of it for a little while.  The hunger didn’t go away.  So having done what should have gotten me past a psychological craving for food I knew my body was telling me a fast was a bad idea.  So I quit.  I don’t know why this one was difficult, but my body was telling me it was.

In both cases I made an effort to continue.  I’m certainly not arguing you should stop at the first sign of trouble in whatever you’re trying to accomplish.  But if you’ve given it a good faith effort and you’re still getting the signs that you need to stop doing what you’re doing, then quit.  It’s ok.  There’s a reason you keep getting the sign.  Not quitting and soldiering on might seem courageous, but your mental “check engine” light comes on for a reason.  And just like ignoring the one on your dash, you do so at the risk of making things worse.

So know when to say when.  Even if you think people will be disappointed in that decision.  Because in the end it doesn’t matter what they think.  You’re the one who has to live with the consequences of your decision.  So make the right choice and quit when you need to.  Waiting until you’re forced to just isn’t the right when.  Have a great day.  Peace.

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2 responses to “Knowing When To Say When.

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  1. Sage advice.
    knowing when to call it a day is an important survival skill.

    • Agreed. And we do better when we realize that there’s no need to keep others happy over ourselves. Another great phrase I love is “you can’t fill a cup with an empty pitcher” and a sure fire way to empty the pitcher is to break it trying to please others.

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