I’ve been thinking a lot about quitting lately.

Dirty Words in My House

The thought of quitting was a dirty word growing up at my house. In my Midwestern family, one does not give up or give in. Quitting was not an option. Starting anything meant we finished it…. completely and to the best of our ability. Oh, the many 4-H projects that were frantically turned in on time to be judged. Oh, the countless softball practices and games not to be missed unless you were on death’s door. Even our Saturday morning cartoons were sacrificed for weekly tap lessons in Avis Fern’s Dance studio!  Saying ‘no’ to something was not in the realm of choices for the 10 year old I was.  As a coach and business owner today, however, it is imperative I use the word.

This all important lesson growing up is learning that hard work pays off and is truly an important life skill, which has served me well. And while finishing tasks and working hard is noble, I have matured enough to realize that many life rules that were important at one time, may need to be reconsidered today. I guess I’ve come to the conclusion that what I really need is intention and focus in my life, which requires me to look at the big “why” of my life. Doing things because they have always been done  a certain way needs reevaluation, especially in light of what I’m to accomplish as a coach and business person.

A Battle of Agendas

In my search to find a “less is more” life, I read Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.  In the opening chapter, the author, recounts his attendance to a meeting on the day his baby girl was born. It rang hauntingly familiar to me. For years, I chose work over my health and family. And what I discovered was that putting other people’s needs ahead of my own caused frustration, guilt and anger.  As Greg says, “We can either make our choices deliberately or allow other people’s agendas to control our lives.”  I’m choosing to make deliberate choices that bring out the best in me.

Extreme Criteria Needed

Derek Severs, a writer and entrepreneur, talks about the importance of Hell, Yeah or No when making a decision. Ultimately, I have to take full responsibility for my singular ‘yes’ once it uttered.  So this summer I’m saying a strategic, ‘no’. I’m going extreme. I’m taking full accountability for my actions as I go deep and look for the genius that resides in me. It will be a process done with introspection with my goals and dreams in focus. I will both love and hate it at the same time, but I will still choose and grow it.

Upping the accountability to myself rather than pleasing others, settling on my personal agenda, and getting extreme in ‘what it is’ I agree to are the places where my production and satisfaction converge. Others may not recognize me and I’m sure I’ll falter, but it will be all mine.

Hell, yeah! Sorry…more dirty words  ;}

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