I've seen a lot of articles lately telling people one of three things.

The first is to never quit, no matter what, because success is just around the corner.

April 12, 2013 at 09:38AM
Arya Ziai via Compfight

The second is that it's okay to quit if you feel like you're failing at something and want to try something new.

The third is that you should quit doing whatever it is they're doing and go do something else that makes you happy.

All of these are good and bad at the same time. Each speaks to a different audience member, which means that those who are ready for that particular message at the time they see it will have it resonate with them pretty nicely, while everyone else will be confused and scared.

I'm here to try to help you out. After all, I've been there myself... maybe I've always been there.

I tend to believe it's hard to have a global response for things like this because we never know what someone's experience happens to be at the time. We also don't quite use language the way it should be used to be more encouraging, no matter where someone is in their life.

I'm going to address these 3 things in order, in my own way, to try to take some of the definitive away from them and give a different perspective on them.

We need to redefine the word "quit" for a quick moment. We all know the main definition of the word: to stop doing something. However, there's a second definition: stop behaving in a specified way.

If you look at the second definition, you start to gain a bit more clarity. The word "quit" suddenly isn't as stark a proposition. It's actually something we all can work with.

On the first point, I understand what it means, and it's dangerous. This is the type of advice a person might take to mean that they've already put $5,000 into it, things aren't quite working the way they want them to, so throw more money at it and it just has to succeed.

Accord with Nature
Heroic Journey via Compfight

What it really means is that if you feel you're moving in the right direction but things aren't quite going the way you thought they were, try modifying it without totally giving it up. Try doing something new or differently, to see if it'll take. You just might be an inch from success, but you need to change things up to get there.

If you're spending dollar after dollar and nothing's coming through for you... stop spending that money, unless you're rich and can afford it. One thing history tells us is that you can't always throw money at something and expect it to work... without a plan and more information. That's really the only way you know if what you're doing is correct or not.

On the second point, it also has a danger if misinterpreted. It doesn't mean if you're trying to lose weight or stop smoking and you're having trouble doing it to give it up and continue doing bad things to yourself. However, we all know that's not what it means so let's look at it further.

If you're a regular reader here you know I don't like the word "fail" as it applies to people trying to do something for themselves but having problems succeeding. In this regard, I like to think that people go along their days doing many experiments, trying to figure out why things aren't working properly and then trying again.

However, if you're someone who keeps committing the same mistake over and over... you can either quit or go ask for help or read a book or search the internet. Quitting shouldn't always be the first option for anything unless you're being treated badly. Quitting should always be the last resort otherwise, and only when you can't tolerate something anymore or you realize it's something you're just never going to be able to do.

Finally, the third point... intriguing, not necessarily all that bad but still problematic.

I'm part of the problem here. I tell people to figure out what makes them happy and go do it. The flip side of that is that maybe what you're doing affords you what you need to go do what makes you happy.

There's this story Mike Rowe tells of meeting a guy who did this nasty bit of business with some livestock. The guy hates doing the work but he's the only one who does it where he lives. This means he makes lots of money, and all that money helps him afford to take lavish trips around the world and buy almost anything he wants. So, even though he's not doing the kind of work he might want to do, he's doing the work that allows him to do this other stuff he really loves to do.

I'm not saying that if you really hate something you shouldn't try to find something better and go for it. I'm saying that if you evaluate what you really want out of life that maybe what you're presently doing can help you do that other thing.

I've covered enough of that for now. What do you think?