As I sit her on a flight on the way home from my second doctorate residency with Lesley University, I’m reflecting on the idea I had a few months ago about quitting the program. I experienced some difficult, bumpy moments during the pivotal first semester of the program, and with almost every adversity, I declared that I should quit while I’m ahead and “let the chips fall where they may”. Through every frowned face I made and tears I shed, members of my support circle constantly encouraged me in my studies. They reminded me that my temporary discomfort only strengthens me for the attainment of the overall goal.
Unlike I have done in any other blog entry, I feel the need to share with you a list: four reasons not to quit whatever you’re going after. I don’t know if it’s keeping your marriage together, an academic pursuit, weight loss, or a host of other things – truth be told, it doesn’t matter what it is. You’re in it, and this is why you shouldn’t quit:
1. You have invested far too many resources into it to this point. I’m not just speaking of money, but I’m also looking at your time and talent as well. Time is way to valuable to place a price tag on it and your talent shouldn’t be wasted on something you give up on. Stick with it because your journey is valuable and worth the investment.
2. Your character and influence depends on it. Somewhere within this journey, you have told someone that you’re doing what you’re going after. Whether you wanted to or not, you have encouraged that person by your testimony. To say you’re going to do something and to quit in the midst of it reshapes your character, and not for the good, either. Quitting in the midst of trying to achieve something makes you look like a failure and causes you to loose just a little of your influence. Enduring is better than loosing a bit of your character and influence. (Those are hard to develop and get back.)
3. You won’t reach your goal if you quit. There is no way I’ll become the dean of a school of education if I quit my doctorate program. Sure, I could stop and then start again later, but it will take me longer to start again than to push through this now. Quitting causes us to back peddle, waste time, and delay the blessings that are due to us. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to waste.
4. If you quit, you won’t see what’s on the other side of adversity. Yes, last semester was extremely difficult for me, but the beginning of this semester has been extraordinary. It’s as if I understand things clearer now and experiencing a little more academic success. If I would have quit, I wouldn’t be experiencing this and I would wallow in a failure spirit wrapped inside of quitting.
I could go on and on because there are literally thousands of reasons why we should not quit going after the goals before us! Stay focused and push through the difficulties. You’ve invested too much, quitting says something negative about you, you will not reach your goal, and you’ll never see the other side of your pursuit.
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