The Art of Quitting: The Sooner the Better?

  You are standing at the shore and the poet tells you to venture into the ocean, that how blue the water is, how magnificent the waves seem when they reach for the sky, but amongst the aesthetics, it is forgotten to convey the strength needed to leave the shore. The earth felt warm and you could feel your feet on the sand. But you moving forward is needed because if you don't leave the coast, your feet will be rooted on that sand forever.

Man with black pants in ocean

That 'strength' is so unique that it can be categorized as an Art, which I like to further elaborate on as an Art of Quitting. An ordinary gesture of this art can be 'getting out of a mess before it messes with you'. Yet, getting out of the clutter isn't easy. Many strands of this Art involve realizing, handling, facing, and quitting at the right time. Let's begin with understanding the art of quitting more extensively.

What is the 'Art of Quitting'

It is the art of 'letting it go'. To brief the concept, consider this life of ours, where we toil to make our dreams come true and aspire to become self-efficient and successful while ignoring the nuances and surpassing managing economical and emotional difficulties. In all this havoc involving constant hard work, we overlook the vital shredding of situations that hinder and facilitate those difficulties.

Quitting the part of your life which is not taking you where you are dreaming of reaching, or a part that lands you in a scenario where you don't wish to be, or a person which makes you feel what you don't want to feel is what the art teaches you! Consequently, the art needs to be cherished as it will surprisingly help you on the other end. Furthermore, the art helps you to exit the disturbing, uncertain, and exhausting aspect you regard that you are entangled in. Moreover, this art comes in handy because jumping into something is easy but realizing the need to snuggle out is difficult. So how do we get to realize it's time to quit?

The Point of Realisation

When to realize it is messed up?

The physical and mental drainage and exhaustion is the ultimate siren to hit the brakes. It should be understood that stress is not the immediate sign of going downhill, as it is considered an everyday part of our lives. It acts as a fuel or a push to our senses to comprehend the completion and management of our work and projects along with deadlines. It exerts a rush of adrenaline through the body to warm us up for approaching the task at hand. But at the same time, excessive stress causes burnout which is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and importantly, prolonged stress.

a girl in maroon dress on a table full of work exhuasted

On a lighter note, an early sign of realising to use the art of quitting is when one analyses where it is leading you. Certainly, every single one of us has a unique dream which, to put in words, acts as a battery of fuel to charge our whole personality! And, of course, it can never run out. If it does not lead you to that vision, then perhaps you need to re-evaluate your choices and chances.

Why were you stuck?

Several factors contribute to this rooted foot and the fear of not acting upon the realisation. Here, let's discuss the surface or more common reasons among them:

  1. The dependence
  2. The gold and glitter
  3. The yearning for change

The dependence could be emotional, physical or financial, and the thought of losing the support and subsequent abandonment dilutes the burnout that the individual experiences as a result. As an illustration, I'm continuing a marketing job to assist myself financially, but the stress I go through because of the lack of interest and workload would have a detrimental effect on my mental and physical health which should matter the most!

As truly said by Mahatma Gandhi,

Everyone wants to be self sufficient but only few are willing to put in the work necessary to achieve worthy goals.

It is necessary to believe in self-sufficiency, and that one is their own biggest strength.

The gold and glitter, the supposed idea of being in a prominent position or being famous, can avert what is large and important to YOU in actuality. It falls short of the real assertion of where that position or place takes you with respect to your honest ultimate goal!

The hope of change is the belief of becoming better, and generosity with time also hinders the action in need. On the other hand, a pragmatic approach to the problem can identify what holds the chances of becoming better in future or getting worse with time.

Facing the discouragement

From childhood to adolescence, our elders have inculcated in us some seemingly necessary traits. Certainly, all of us have heard long lectures about them too! Look at them, do they seem familiar?

How to be Hardworking?

How to be diligent?

How do I be practical and opportunistic?

It won't come as a surprise if the art of quitting is not intensively discussed and rather debunked and discouraged. As a result, our approach contrasts the view of adults who value determination and focus.

But do you know what the problem is?

The problem is that the genuine concern is associated with the individual, not the circumstances or the actual outcome. Henceforward, the individual feels inadequate, demotivated and doubtful of their potential. That topples up with demeaning remarks and sneers of the people who themselves have been ground with the mentality of noticing the fault in the wrong place!

But hasn't this age-old thinking got a point? Isn't quitting a sign of incapability and indecisiveness? It might be in some cases, but as we are reading this, we all know deep down that it is not in most cases. Let's examine it in little depth.


"Sometimes, the best thing you could do to yourself is letting it go"

Indeed, the art of quitting is one such thing that is less spoken about but is required the most. There are many reasons and explanations to stop you from doing the right thing, but there are even more present when you decide to quit a bad thing. Henceforth, all of us should normalise and accept quitting as a necessary practice rather than disproving it as a sign of incapability.

~ Yours Asra Mairaj

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