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The entire Navigate the Chaos collection of all 365 blog posts is now available in a paperback entitled Navigate the Chaos (795 pages for $24.99). A smaller collection of thoughts from the Navigate the Chaos collection is available in paperback entitled Wonder (94 pages for $4.99)

How often do you realize winners sometimes quit?

Today is April 11 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you realize winners sometimes quit?” There is an oft-quoted maxim that ‘Winners never quit. Quitters never win.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

Quitting is a very useful strategy to employ while navigating the chaos and practicing the art of living well. Let’s consider the following list of things people often quit. The list is in no particular order.

  • Winners quit feeling sorry for themselves.

  • Winners quit being lazy.

  • Winners quit micromanagers.

  • Winners quit delaying.

  • Winners quit hating themselves.

  • Winners quit carrying mountains.

  • Winners quit being scared.

  • Winners quit not taking chances.

  • Winners quit denying themselves self-care.

  • Winners quit bad jobs.

  • Winners quit abusive relationships.

  • Winners quit saying yes to everyone.

  • Winners quit pleasing everyone.

  • Winners quit making excuses.

  • Winners quit abusing their bodies.

  • Winners quit blaming others.

  • Winners quit taking their pain out on others.

Now, let us ask ourselves questions based on the list above by starting each of the following questions with ‘how often do you…’

  • Feel sorry for yourself?

  • Are you lazy?

  • Working for a micromanager?

  • Delaying something that you have wanted to do for some time?

  • Hate yourself?

  • Carry mountains?

  • Live scared?

  • Not take a chance?

  • Deny yourself self-care?

  • Stay in a bad job?

  • Remain in an abusive relationship?

  • Say yes to everyone?

  • Please everyone?

  • Make excuses?

  • Abuse your body?

  • Blame others?

  • Take your pain out on others?

As author Seth Godin noted "winners quit all the time. They just quit the right stuff at the right time." Those who navigate the chaos, like comedian Jim Gaffigan and actor Peter Gardner Ostrum understand the value of quitting and ignore the ‘winners never quit’ advice. While at Georgetown University, Jim Gaffigan decided to quit playing football. As he recalled “the football coach said, ‘If I quit football, I will quit everything in life.’ That terrified me because I was like will I quit everything in my life?” Gaffigan did not quit everything in life and is now a stand-up comedian, actor, and author with a net worth of approximately $25 million.

Peter Gardner Ostrum is an American veterinarian and former child actor whose only film role was as Charlie Bucket in the 1971 motion picture Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Ostrum was 12 years old when selected by talent agents for Willy Wonka. Though he enjoyed the experience of shooting the film, he quit acting and opted not to sign a three-film contract when it was over. Ostrum became interested in horses when he returned from shooting Willy Wonka and was particularly influenced by the veterinarian that tended to them. Ostrum would go on to receive his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1984.

As Poet Mary Oliver wrote in her poem Wild Geese: “You do not have to be good. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—over and over announcing your place in the family of things.”

  • How often do you allow ‘the soft animal of your body to love what it loves?’

  • If you are stuck in a career or a relationship, are you afraid to quit in order to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves?

  • What do you need to quit doing so you can better navigate the chaos?

  • How often do you remind yourself that winners quit all the time?


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