So much of the advice we hear about being productive and achieving success boils down to one idea: Stick with it.And its trueits hard to find a single example of someone who achieved something truly extraordinary without perseverance.At first blush, that seems to be the main takeaway of a wonderful little book by Seth Godin called The Dip, whose cover image shows a long valley in between the peaks of initial excitement and long-term success.
But this little book has a little secret that becomes obvious within the first couple pages:Yes, perseverance is essential for success and truly extraordinary achievements. But just as important, though far less well-understood, is another simple idea: To be extraordinary in whatever domain you choose, you must master the art of intelligent quitting.What follows is a selection of my favorite quotes from the book along with my own brief thoughts and reflections.
On The DipThe Dip is the long slog between starting and mastery.The excitement of new beginnings blinds us to the long, winding nature of the road to excellence.Anticipate the dip-welcome it even-and youre well on your way to breaking through it.
On QuittersMost people quit. They just dont quit successfully. Winners quit intelligently.
Quitters persevere unthinkingly. On WorthinessIf its worth doing, theres probably a dip.Instead of viewing the Dip or challenging part of a journey merely as an obstacle to be worked through, what if we saw it as evidence that were on the right track?
That its a task worth doing?How many genuinely meaningful and enjoyable accomplishments in your life didnt have a long period of struggle in the middle?On Opportunity CostThe opportunity cost of investing your life in something thats not going to get better is just too high.
I continue to believe that the concept of opportunity cost is one of the most underappreciated ideas in all of well-being, mental health, and personal development. Ever time you decide to put your time/attention/energy/passion in one place, youre giving up putting it somewhere else.Cultivating the habit of thinking like this is painful but necessary if you want to invest the currency of your life wisely.
On AdversityIn a competitive world, adversity is your ally. The harder it gets, the better chance you have of insulating yourself from the competition.Adversity isnt an obstacle; its a competitive advantage.
On AverageQuit or be exceptional. Average is for losers.This sounds harsh, I know.
And maybe it is. There are plenty of times, I think, when average is just fine. In fact, maybe thats the problemBecause average works in most of life, its that much harder to quit average when we really need to in order to become exceptional.
On StressLike most people, all day long, every day, you use your muscles. But you dont grow. You dont look like Mr.
Universe because you quit using your muscles before you reach the moment where the stress causes them to start growing. Its a mistake to equate repetition with practice. True practicethe kind that leads to growthdemands stress.
On SuccessThe business [and people] we think of as overnight successes werent. We just didnt notice them until they were well baked.Its a useful exercise to take someone you admire and look up to and then try to reverse engineer their success.
Sure, Steven King is an amazing writer now with a huge following and readership. But what steps did he take to get there before he was successful?On RededicationThe opposite of quitting is rededication.
The opposite of quitting is an invigorated new strategy designed to break the problem apart.I love this idea of rededication.Dedication is easy and glamorous and exciting.
Setting off for the first time and dedicating ourself to the cause, the goal, the ambition.But to find yourself face down in the mud, having gotten bumped off the proverbial wagon for the fifth time in as many days, to dust your self off, hustle back to the wagon, and get back in again Rededication.On VisionPersistent people are able to visualize the idea of light at the end of the tunnel when others cant see it.
We talk about vision as if its some sort of superpower or genetic gift some people are blessed with.Nonsense.Vision is a skill that gets cultivated like anything else.
And theres nothing magical about it. It means taking the time to actively imagine the details of a future possibility. Developing a vision requires practice envisioning.
On CopingCoping is a lousy alternative to quitting. The problem with coping is that it never leads to exceptional performance. I hate the word coping.
Maybe there are situations in life when the absolute best we can do is to simply cope. But in my experience, there are almost always viable ways to actually improve your situation, not just cope with it.Of course, they may not be obvious or easy.
But if we do the work to understand the true roots of our difficulties and have the courage to make the changes we need, improvement is almost always possible.On GutsWe fail when we get distracted by tasks we dont have the guts to quit.Put another way: Success takes focus and couragefocus to resist tempting distractions and courage admit when were on the wrong path.
On Becoming ExtraordinaryPersevering through hard times and quitting intelligently are two sides to the same coin-equally valuable skills necessary to achieve meaningful and lasting success in whatever endeavors we choose.But are you willing to build those skills? To learn about them, practice them, and commit to them?
They arent for everyone. There are more comfortable, easier paths through life. But if you want to become extraordinary, you wont get there without them.
Extraordinary benefits accrue to the tiny minority of people who are able to push just a tiny bit longer than most. Extraordinary benefits also accrue to the tiny majority with the guts to quit early and refocus their efforts on something new. Seth Godin, The DipOriginally published at on June 26, 2019 RELATED QUESTION I didn't get Google Glass Explorer Edition.
Is trying to learn Glass dev without the hardware a futile effort? No, you can still learn the fundamentals of Glass development without the hardware. There are three main approaches for accomplishing this: 1) Visit the Mirror API documentation, get into the playground, and start hashing up some code.
Download the PHP, Java, and Python library, whichever you're most comfortable with. Familiarize yourself with the jargon and converntions (timeline, bundles, menus, etc). Read the support documentation (second link below) to see how the Glass hardware actually functions.
Build some apps to this specification. Soon enough, you will find a friend with hardware to t