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Author: admin

Blow the whole thing down.

A friend recently told me about a podcast episode in which the guest, Misfit founder AJ Leon, describes in dramatic detail the day he realized his life in the high stakes world of finance was all wrong and how he suddenly walked away.

AJ’s exit was something out of a movie. He packed up his desk and then started spouting something about how they were frauds just pushing around paper money until security had to escort him out.

Now I almost never advocate burning bridges during your quit. The boss you want to tell off during your quit may be the one who has to write a letter of recommendation for your next job, so I usually recommend quitting in the least offensive way possible. However, there is one instance where burning the bridge isn’t such a bad idea – and it’s exactly what Leon describes in his story. He says he knew if he didn’t, he would have gone back. And he knew in his heart he shouldn’t go back. So he said he had to “blow the whole thing down.”

Take a listen to AJ Leon’s inspiring story – the episode is long, but the relevant part starts at 53:00.

https://chrisryanphd.com/tangentially-speaking/2017/1/9/222-a-j-leon-misfit

**Warning – the host and guest are both big fans of colorful language, so if you’re not, well…may I recommend earmuffs:)

What comes next?

Fans of the musical “Hamilton” are familiar with the song ‘What comes next?’ sung by King George the III. It follows the Americans having won the Revolutionary War and in it, the king asks Americans what they’re going to do now that they’ve won. Or in another manner of speaking, what they’re going to do now that they’ve quit being subjects of the British empire. He sings:

“What comes next? You’ve been freed. Do you know how hard it is to lead.

You’re on your own. Awesome. Wow. Do you have a clue what happens now?”

I was reminded of that song when this week a friend suggested that I write a blog post on what comes after a quit. Sometimes it’s instant gratification, but other times the gratification is delayed and there’s a difficult period to wade through first. UGH. The very thought of wading through that period is enough to make people steer clear of necessary quits. Humans will go to extreme lengths to avoid conflict and pain, even if the alternative is a less-than-fulfilling existence.

So what if you’re in that difficult period? First off, congratulations, you did it. You quit. You likely knew what was coming and you also knew that you were strong enough to make it through to the other side. Second, keep focusing on the fact that there indeed *is* another side. You’ve likely seen the quote that says “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” That’s a great reminder that you’re going THROUGH something…on your way to something better. So while you have my ultimate sympathy and empathy for your struggles (we’ve all been there), just keep in mind that you quit because you know there’s something better waiting for you, and you will eventually get there, and the struggle will just make you that much stronger.

So if the answer to “What comes next?” was “a difficult period,” just know that what comes next after *that* is the reason you quit in the first place. Keep focused on that light at the end of the tunnel and best of luck. You got this:)

One week down

You’ve made it through the first full week of the year – how’s it feeling? Did entering 2017 give you a feeling of starting over – maybe from having quit something that wasn’t serving you in 2016?

Well while most resolutions that involve quitting deal with something that’s not working for you, I cam across an interesting article today that talks about why you may want to quit things you love. Take a look:

“Quitting Something you Love” – Derek Sivers

https://sivers.org/quit

Forming a Habit

How are the new year’s resolutions coming? Did you resolve to quit something? If so, you may be wondering when the quitting gets easier, and science is here to help. According to research (in the link below), scientists in England found that it takes 66 days (not the commonly-referenced 21 days) to form a habit, even if that habit is NOT to do something. So if you quit something – be it smoking, or drinking, or fast-food, or even negative self-talk (a great one to quit!) – then you’ve got about 62 more days before it’s a habit. But don’t despair, the article below gives you some tips on how to make it to 66!

“Scientists Say It Only Takes 66 Days To Change Your Life, If You’re Strong Enough”
http://elitedaily.com/life/motivation/need-stop-bad-habit-need-66-days/784244

New Year’s Resolutions

The website Statisticbrain.com has posted a list of the most common New Year’s resolutions from 2016 and they are as follows:

  1. Lose weight
  2. Get organized
  3. Spend Less, Save More
  4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest
  5. Staying fit and healthy
  6. Learn Something exciting
  7. Quit Smoking
  8. Help others in their dreams
  9. Fall in love
  10. Spend more time with family

I must say that whoever thought ‘falling in love’ was something you could resolve to do must know something the rest of us don’t!

Anyway, I think it’s interesting (though predictable) that the only quit on the list is smoking. It’s much less common to say “This year I resolve to quit my job/marriage/graduate school.” But let’s take a closer look at these resolutions – I bet each of them could be seen as a quit.

Here’s a revised list:

  1. Quit eating unhealthy amounts and types of foods.
  2. Quit throwing everything in a junk drawer or in the back of the closet.
  3. Quit spending money on things that don’t bring you joy to be able to save for things that do
  4. Quit spending time focused on things that don’t bring joy and start spending time focusing on things that do
  5. Quit finding excuses not to go to the gym
  6. Quit being complacent with what you already know
  7. (we’ll leave quit smoking as it is – if you smoke, you should see your doctor about quitting)
  8. …you get my drift…

I offer these as an example of how often it is necessary to quit something to bring beneficial change into your life. They also illustrate how not every quit involves leaving a job or relationship, there are many small quits that can have big impacts on your life.

This American Life: the Quitting episode

I’m a firm believer that there are no coincidences, and here’s just another example. I randomly put “quitting” into google today and look what I found: a podcast from exactly 21 years ago today that interviews someone who views quitting nearly the exact same way that I do. Her name is Evan Harris and she’s the founder of Quitting Quarterly, which was a zine (remember those?) about quitting. She said the following:

“The word quitter does have a negative connotation, and that’s something I would really like to change. […] I see quitters as people who have volition. Quitters never win and winners never quit, that’s completely untrue. I mean really the more things you quit, the more things you’re going to do. And the more things you do, the more potential you have for success.”

I couldn’t agree more. If you’d like to hear the whole interview, it’s here:
https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/7/quitting

Did you end up here on accident?

Judging by the google results when I type in ‘quit’ or ‘quitting,’ most people associate those words with cigarette smoking. In fact, very often when I tell people I want to help others quit, they assume I am referring to addictions of some sort. So if you ended up at my page because you were looking to quit smoking or another addiction, have you come to the wrong place?

Absolutely not.

Many of the skills needed for a successful quit are the same whether you’re quitting tobacco or your relationship. Mental fortitude, a support system, and healthy habits will all set you up for a successful quit of any kind.

But there’s another reason I’m happy you’re here. People find quitting tobacco to be an honorable undertaking, yet so many other quits get stigmatized. However, there are many other things that can have just as negative an effect on your health as tobacco: an extremely stressful job, an abusive relationship, an educational path that isn’t right for you.

So let’s destigmatize quitting anything that isn’t healthy for you! If you want quitting tobacco to be easier, perhaps quitting a stressful job that leads you to smoke more is a good start. Or quitting a relationship with someone who isn’t as concerned with their health as you are and who wouldn’t support your tobacco-free lifestyle.

And let’s applaud quitters of all types just as loudly as we applaud those who kick the smoking habit:)

Quit – What’s in a word?

The online Oxford dictionary describes the the origin of the word ‘quit’ as follows:

Middle English (in the sense ‘set free’)

Set free. Not fail, not give up, not retreat in defeat. When you quit you haven’t failed, you are simply set free from something that wasn’t working for you. Over the years, society has added its own meaning to the word, adding much stigma to it in the process. But if you are ever struggling with the negative connotations of the word ‘quit,’ please consider the Middle English origin and feel set free!!

Making It

Hey everyone! Welcome to my blog where from time to time I’ll be posting little reminders about the benefits of quitting or some strategic ways to approach quitting that I may not have covered elsewhere in the site or in my upcoming book. They may be examples of famous people who have quit (spoiler alert, they all have…because *we* all have), or just some tips and tricks to help you in your journey.

So here goes – today I’d like to cover the concept of ‘making it.’ Let’s focus specifically on artistic careers such as actors and musicians. Most of the people who have ‘made it’ in those fields struggled at one time or another, and many worked as baristas or at restaurants or in retail to make ends meet prior to the time they achieved financial success in the arts. Imagine the day the now successful actor walked into his job at a restaurant and said he quit, because he no longer needed that job and could work full-time in his chosen field. THIS IS A QUIT…of the BEST variety!!! It’s a quit that everyone celebrates, yet it is still a quit.

Why do I bring this up? Because destigmatizing quitting requires realizing how many quits are worthy of celebration. We celebrate quits all the time without calling them quit – instead we call it ‘making it.’  Well friends, if you’d like to ‘make it’ in your chosen field, you’ve come to the right place to get started…

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