Don't throw the Quit Switch

Most people succeed because they are determined to. People of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don't know when to quite.
- George Allen,
Football Coach

Every Olympic athlete, every leader, and every human being has a certain little-known brain part in common: a Quit Switch.

Some people, out of lifelong habit, throw the Quit Switch at the first sign of frustration. Their workout gets difficult, so they throw the switch and go home. Their day of phone calls gets frustrating, so they throw the switch and go for coffee with a coworker for two hours of sympathetic negativity.

Everyone has a Quit Switch. Not everyone knows it.

Get to know it. Notice yourself flipping the switch. You can't quit and you won't quit until you throw the switch. A human being is built like any animal to persist until a goal is reached. Watch children get what they want and you'll see the natural, built-in persistence.

Somewhere along the way, though, we learn about this little switch. Soon, we start flipping the switch. Some of us begin by flipping it after a severe frustration, and then start flipping it after medium frustrations, and until finally it is thrown in the face of any discomfort at all. We quit.

If you weren't in the habit of throwing the switch too early, you would achieve virtually any goal you ever set. You would never give up on your team. You'd make every month's sales goal. You'd even lose all the weight you ever wanted to lose. you would achieve anything you wanted because you would not throw the switch.

The Quit Switch is something you can focus on, learn about, and make work for you instead of against you. Whether you flip it early or late is only habit. The switch flipping habit is misinterpreted as lack of will power, courage, drive, or desire, but that's nonsense. It's a habit. And like any habit, it can be replaced with another habit.

Make it your habit not to throw the Quit Switch early in any process. Do not quit on yourself as a leader or on your team as producers. The less a quitter you are, the more of a motivator you become.

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