I am doing something that I have dreamed of doing for a while, but I lacked the guts to carry it out. I’m quitting.
I grew up thinking quitting was such a bad word. In the world of sports, quitters never win and no one wants to be associated with a quitter, right? Wrong.
The more I study and the more I grow as a person, I realize that some of the most successful people in life were once quitters. Steve Jobs quit Reed College after one semester, Bill Gates quit Harvard. Puff Daddy quit Howard. Moses quit his job in the pharaoh’s palace. Madame CJ Walker quit cleaning houses. Gandhi quit being scared of the British Empire (or maybe he was never scared…not sure…gotta check my source). The point is, quitting is sometimes the smartest decision you can make.
When you know that what you are doing, is not really what you want to be doing, quitting should become an option. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think you should just pack up your work area and leave. I do think you need to start formulating a real plan on how you can start living out your dreams.
I read a statistic a few years ago that 80% of working Americans are holding positions that they do not like. If that stat is true (and I believe it is), that is a lot of unhappy and unfulfilled people.
After reading that quote, I decided to ask various random people if they liked their jobs. One person was a registered nurse at the local hospital. She replied, “I hate my job”. She said, “if I could, I would quit and not even give them notice”. I was really surprised by how passionate she was about not liking her job. After all, she had gone back later in life to get the nursing degree. She was also making really good money. I asked her what she would rather do if she could. Without hesitating, she said, “I would teach. But there is no money in teaching.”
I learned two things from that experience. First, you do not choose your career based on money. Secondly, you do not choose your career based on money. I know it is repetitive but it is worth repeating.
We are taught very early that we need to “get a good job”, and make “lots of money”. That is what 80% of America’s work force is doing, and they are not happy. If you don’t believe me, ask your coworkers how they feel about their current position. In fact, ask yourself,”How do I feel about my current position? Is this really what I want to do? Is this the legacy that I want to leave?”
What would you do, if everyone got paid the same amount of money? Seriously, what would you do? Are you working toward that goal?
Like I said, I am quitting. I am working on my exit plan and I am positioning myself for the life I have always dreamed of. That dream includes being an awesome wife, a super mom, helping the disadvantaged, providing leadership, writing books, traveling the world, motivational speaking, preaching the Gospel, starting a nonprofit, blogging on a more consistent basis, and many other things that are still taking shape in my mind.
I have started doing some of the things I listed, and I am sure I can find more time for some of the others provided I am willing to quit. Admittedly, I feel a bit uneasy even typing the word ‘quit’, but I when I think back to the list of quitters I named above, I realize that I can get used to being called a quitter. Can you?
When I reflect back on my conversation with the registered nurse that hated her job, but really wanted to teach…I can only imagine the kind of impact she could make in the classroom and I can only imagine the kind of negative impact she made in the hospital…
I am quitting mediocrity, comfort, and predictability. It is time to live a life of impact and purpose.
So, who’s with me?