We already know that winners have no problem failing, but considering the difference between failing vs quitting can be illuminating.
Quitting means you never got to the end point to know if you failed or not. If the goal is to knock out Mike Tyson, then “quitting” is going to the boxing gym for a year straight and then deciding to not go anymore. But “failure” is getting into the ring with Tyson and getting knocked out. If you quit, you never know if you would have failed or not. Failure is you gave it all your effort and didn’t achieve your goal, vs quitting where you didn’t give all your effort and didn’t achieve your goal.
This distinction is important because failure has to be an accepted possibility Also Seth Godin talks in The Dip about how winners quit the right thing at the right time. That whole “quit the right thing at the right time” is where the difficulty is in executing this strategy.
Knowing when to quit is easy: 1) If the reward is revealed to not be worth the effort, 2) When you’re not progressing in any way towards the goal.
Consider the goal to bench press 500 pounds but you’ve been stuck at a 320 lbs bench for a year without any progression.
This whole 500 lbs bench press goal likely isn’t going to happen.
Quitting for bad reasons like “it’s hard” or “I’m progressing slowly, but I want it NOW (instant gratification)” are terrible reasons to quit. Mostly people quit because of those 2 reasons. If you’ve been pursuing a goal and not progressing, it’s time to either change your strategy or quit. And if you’re discovering that to beat Mike Tyson in a fight won’t take 1 year in the gym, but 6 years instead, and it’s no longer worth it, well…it’s time to quit.
Quit because you’re not progressing or because the effort / grind isn’t worth the end reward.