The Value and Cost of Quitting

QuittingIt is cliché to say it—but we live in a day where quitting is commonplace. We find it easier to walk away from commitments rather than stick with one that no longer seems relevant. In response, we choose to…

  • Leave our spouses.
  • Quit the baseball team.
  • Walk away from contracts.
  • Drop our New Year’s resolutions.

And why not? In our day, quitting is just…easier. We’ve begun to create a society where much of the time, there are no long-term penalties. Divorce is not longer shunned. Quitting the sports team is totally acceptable if the kid is bored. Even prison sentences are shortened. I know a man who committed murder and was out of prison in two years. In fact, at first glance:

  • Quitting is easier.
  • Quitting is faster.
  • Quitting is less boring.

Stop and think, however, of the long-term history we create when quitting is acceptable. Eventually, people won’t believe or trust a person’s word when they promise to do something. Contracts are virtually useless. Wedding vows will mean almost nothing. In my book, Generation iY—Our Last Chance to Save Their Future, I predicted that by the year 2030, we would begin seeing five-year marriage contracts. I could see it coming. Problem is—I didn’t see it clearly enough. Last year, three countries (including Mexico just south of the U.S.) considered legislature that would allow for two-year marriage contracts. We don’t want life to be hard or to box us in. We want options. Do we see, however, what results from this lifestyle?

Here’s a little lesson I learned as an adult.

When I make a decision that provides me with short-term benefits, I almost always experience long-term consequences. In other words, if I play now, I pay later. On the other hand, if I make a decision that has short-term consequences, I almost always enjoy long-term benefits.  Pay now, play later.

The further out I can see into the future, the better the decision I make today. 

Over the next few days, I plan to blog about students and how we’ve conditioned them to quit. Quit the team. Quit piano. Quit relationships. Quit school.

Stay with me and please weigh in on the conversation.

Where do you see quitting most often?

Interested in finding solutions to the quitting trend? On June 28-29, 2012, Growing Leaders is hosting the National Leadership Forum in Atlanta, GA. Our theme this year is “Growing Leaders, Not Just Graduates.” During these two days, administrators, teachers, coaches, youth workers and non-profit leaders come together to address this problem and leave with practical solutions tailored to their unique settings. For more information, visit the website. Register by today to save $50. I’d love for you to join us this June!

The Value and Cost of Quitting