073 - knowing when to stop


"It's a maxim of the wise to leave things before things leave them"
- Balthasar Gracian

There are moments in your life where you're going to contemplate stopping... throwing in the towel... walking away... and quitting...

There are some moments, however, where this is a good thing... it's a strategic pivot to stop doing something that's not helping you - which is a great idea in the end

Seth Godin distinguishes between the good and the bad as "the dip" and a "cul-de-sac". A dip is something whereby you can come out on the other side, it's something you should stick with, even though it appears you're going down and it'll be hard to rise back up...

Whereas a cul-de-sac is something you'll continually go round and round in... it's something you're probably going to want to quit

And there are many things in life that you'll want to stop and walk away from. Moments where you'll want to stop while you're ahead and not linger past your prime and into the depths of sunk costs... a position whereby we've put so much into something that we cannot part with it, even though it's causing us damage...

And in his exceptional book "Legacy. What the All-Blacks can teach us about the business of life", James Kerr sheds light on their principle to continually change their game, especially when they're on top of their game

It's the reason they're so good... they're always positively dissatisfied with themselves and looking for a way to grow, improve, and leave their old ways behind for better ways. If they stuck with them, other teams would eventually work them out and/or catch up... and in doing so, the All-Blacks would lose their dominance

They know when to stop and move onto something else... do you?


Actionable Tips + Questions:

  • Is there something you're currently doing that's not serving you at the moment? If so, is it a dip that you need to keep pushing through, or is it a cul-de-sac you should pivot out of?
  • Are things going great for you, and perhaps it's time to pivot and go again in order to stay ahead of your competition and continually grow and develop yourself? If so, what's one way you can do this? What's something you can be positively dissatisfied about?
Nick Maier