Never give up. Don’t be a quitter. We hear these things all our lives. Well, I’m here to tell you that there are times when it’s perfectly fine to give up. In fact, there are times when giving up is the best option.  

I’m not condoning quitting in the middle of a chess match, basketball game or boxing match (Roberto Duran) just because you’re losing. It’s never ok to give up in these situations. When you do, you lose more than a game or match – you lose credibility. Likewise, when you’re pressed into situations against your will and life and death are the only possible outcomes (like cancer) you don’t give up. You fight it. Till death, if necessary. In these scenarios, you do your best and let the chips fall.

There are times, however, when your best option is to swallow your pride and quit something. For example, if you drink alcoholically, shoot heroin or snort crank – the longer you continue with these things, the less likely your life is going to be awesome in the future. So while it might be fun now to wake up at 11 a.m. and not come to until 1 for a few wonderful hours of making an ass of yourself on the dance floor the night before, the sooner you quit – the sooner you get on with your life. 

Marriage is another one. If you recognize that things aren’t right, and the statute of limitations on trying to make it work has expired, quit. Change directions. Move on with your life. We’re human – we make mistakes. I can’t imagine anything worse than living the rest of your life with someone you don’t love and respect. 

What about work?  Life is too short to walk around in it in denial of something that’s not working. Do you have a crappy job but are too proud (or scared) to change directions? Yeah? Then don’t come complaining to me, Missy. You’ve got to do what’s right for you – and sometimes that means sucking up the pride and quitting. Of course quitting is only part of a larger process that’s followed closely by restructuring, but this nonsense about never quitting is what I’m focussed on here. If the responsible thing is to quit something, then quit. It’s that simple. 

With the right intentions, quitting, or surrendering, proves that you’re bright enough to recognize that things change; that you made a mistake; or that you’re keeping your eyes open for new opportunities. I’ll bet that there’re a couple of things in your life right now that are prime candidates for being quit. Search them out and then quit them. And don’t ever quit quitting them.  

Is this post just an overblown semantics issue? Probably. But as a father, I’m trying to teach my daughters the difference between illogical stubbornness and sincere perseverance. Because there are a lot of ignorant people out there who throw ideas around without thinking them through.

Thanks for reading my words.


Jim Mitchem

Vulturing a Blog Post
More Guns, Please

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.