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Is It True That ‘Winners Never Quit?’ Sometimes Quitting Takes True Courage

You’re in a job, a career, a habit, a relationship, or a business — and maybe it’s pretty good. A five on a scale of 1 to 10. From the outside, people can’t believe you’d give it up.

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BY Bill Murphy Jr. - 22 Mar 2019

quittings takes courage

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Ichiro Suzuki, a surefire Hall of Fame baseball player, retired yesterday after 27 professional seasons.

It wasn't a surprise exactly, but he chose his moment well: playing in Japan, his home, as the Seattle Mariners opened the 2019 season.

There were tears and cheers. Basically everyone who has ever cared about baseball is happy for him.

Not everyone gets applause when they walk away from something, of course. Last year, a high school football team with only 16 players -- meaning most had to play both offense and defense -- got clobbered in their first two games by a combined score of 102 to 0.

They voted to disband their season, and the backlash was harsh. Lots of "winners never quit, and quitters never win" rhetoric from people sitting behind their keyboards.

To me, however, those kids are heroes. Their bravery, in being willing to walk away in the face of such stigma, has stuck with me.

My sympathy might stem from my experience, nine years ago, of quitting a six-figure job after just one day. It was a wrenching decision, and a lot of people thought I was crazy, even though I knew in my gut it was the right move.

I wrote about it all last summer, and it seems to resonate with people.

Last week I spent a while talking with a young reader who'd come across the article, and who was trying to steel his courage to give notice at work. His situation wasn't horrible, he told me, but he just knew there were better things out there.

It's hard to make that choice. It flies in the face of what most of society tells us.

You're in a job, a career, a habit, a relationship, or a business -- and maybe it's pretty good. A five on a scale of 1 to 10. From the outside, people can't believe you'd give it up.

But you hear that little voice telling you that you're never going to be satisfied. You realize that you're not doing anybody any favors by sticking it out. Maybe you've been there.

If you've had that kind of experience -- if you can point to times in your life journey when you had to quit something decent, or even good, in order to pursue something even better, and you'd be willing to share the details -- I'd like to hear about it. Maybe write about it.

Seriously: billmurphyjr [AT] inc.com.

Because sometimes, good is the enemy of great. And they only want to begin the journey is to quit traveling on the one you were on before.

Here's what else I'm reading today:

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