i’ve always loved the story of the tortoise and the hare. it’s the classic case of authenticity and stick-to-it-tive-ness trumping arrogance and laziness. good things come to those who wait. who hang in, who keep chipping away. who don’t expect quick, cheap, easy solutions. stories like these validate me. i’ve always been one who wins not because i am quicker and more athletic… or because i SELL myself well or slept with someone powerful or kissed the right asses.
i do well because i am dogged, persistent and dedicated to whatever i am focusing on. i am loyal to my purpose. i don’t give up.
does it take me a long ass time to finish my marathons? yes. a LOOONG ass time. but i do it, i get it done. and i don’t hurt myself in the process because i’ve trained and am prepared.
yet sometimes, shit happens that i can’t prepare for. realities that are out of my control. bad weather, bad people, bad luck. at that point, i have to trust my instincts that things are not going to get better — that my purpose may have changed — and have the courage to make a clean break.
i am reading seth godin’s the dip … about strategic quitting. it’s a great little title for people pondering moving on from relationships — whether they’re personal or professional.
a honcho i used to work for at a Fortune 100 financial services company who led a large sales team and dozens of managers around the country said that most people’s downfall is quitting right when they are on the brink of a breakthrough … right when things are about to turn around … most people are scared of their own potential.
mediocrity is the known … it’s what they are used to and they can’t conceive of rising above that.
everything i’ve seen and read tends to reinforce this. at the same time, it takes wisdom and courage to leave when it’s time to go. you’ve gotta know when to hold em, to know when to fold em, know when to walk away, know when to run.
the sweet spot between those two extremes — persisting and quitting — is where the best careers are built.