There’s a girl I know who I like a lot and one of the few things we used to disagree on was her number one rule.
“Don’t fail. Quit.”
It varied quite drastically from my own interpretation of how to succeed: “be a stubborn bitch and never admit defeat”.
These days, I don’t believe in quitting. And no that’s not positive-reinforcement-new-age-skies-the-limit thinking, it’s an actual criticism of the functionality of the word.
That sounds smart assy. Let me explain.
If you think about it, the notion of quitting is flawed because what it is implying is a limitation. A total void of something. A limitation placed on you by yourself to not engage with that thing again.
Some limits are very physical and dictated by the rules of the universe, for example, the highest pitched sound you can hear, the colour spectrum you can see, the length of a life, the time something takes to grow. But others are ‘theoretical’ limits. That is, there is no rule, no boundary, no nothing but will power alone to give the limitation any kind of tangible state of being.
Quitting, or “giving up” is one of those theoretical limits.
What I don’t like about quitting is the finality of it. Like, it’s one way or the other. You either stop completely and never do it again or your resolve is broken and that’s that.
Quitting is hard for that reason. Total finality sucks. Especially when the only thing to back it up, is you.
That’s why, 99% of the time, diets fail. “I’m quitting chocolate” is a very effective way to ensure that you will indeed eat chocolate again, will probably make yourself feel bad about it, and consequently that resolve, the only thing giving that theoretical barrier anything solid to rest on, is shaken.
That’s why I’ve struggled over the years with kicking my bad habit. (see “Guilty Pleasures: Part Three”)
It’s always been those extremes. Give it up completely, no ifs, ands or buts, no compromise. It’s always ensured I end up starting again, and feeling like crap about it and myself.
And yes, it feels wrong and counterproductive to compromise with your bad habits, but in fact I think it’s the right way to go.
Life should be lived without limitations, especially the ones that are pure theory. No limits, just choices.
If you’re reason for not doing something is because “I’ve quit” or “i’m giving up”, that’s a shit reason. That’s no kind of reason at all. What kind of motivation is that?
If you really want to change something or let something go, quitting is a crap way to go about it. Just decide, no. Make that choice.
For my bad habit, it shouldn’t have been about “quitting”. It should have been about “Do I want to do this? No. It doesn’t make me happy, it doesn’t change anything, and there has to be a better way. So I won’t.”
I think the only way to really succeed is to make quitting not an option. Failure is a natural part of life, but quitting is entirely up to you. Those are your limits, your boundaries. Listen to the stubborn mule that’s wrecking havoc inside each and every one of us. “Neigh!”
So try another way.
It took me a month to learn how to juggle, but I fucking did it bitches!
That’s all I’m saying.
Another thought on limitations. Don’t ever limit other people. I mean it in as broad as being the un-judgemental ear of support when a friend has a problem, to telling someone their choices are wrong and you disagree. It’s fine to have an opinion, but that opinion should never be used to make another person feel like less.
It’s hard as hell, and I’m automatically a hypocrite because I so often am the one guilty of scorn and unwittingly belittling those I care about. But that’s the point isn’t it, don’t fucking give up!
Just cause I suck as a human now, doesn’t necessarily mean I always will. (Oh god, I hope not) But the only way to fend off failure, is to stroke that mules ego and let the defiance flow.
(That was not meant to sound so dirty, but I’m not going to edit it out. Because it’s hilarious. Anyway…)
Andsolike, as a vegetarian, it pisses me off when people find out I occasionally eat fish.
“Ah ha!” they say, “you’re not really a vegetarian then are you!”
Um, yeah. I am. twenty nine days of the month I’m strictly meat free. There is one, maybe two, when I’m not. But why does that one day over rule the twenty nine other days? And even if it does by some stupid rule of social standards, doesn’t this thing work by restarting?
Oops, I ate fish. Dangit. But I’m not going to eat it tomorrow, or any day in the foreseeable future, sooo does that mean starting tomorrow I’m vego again or have I blown my only chance?
People are stupid.
So, in summary, my thoughts are as follows:
Live by choices, not limits.
We all have a miniature donkey roaming free inside our chest cavities.
I’ll fucking well eat fish if I want to, and call myself a vegetarian. And what anyone else thinks about that doesn’t really matter.