Starting Life Over Means Learning When to Quit by Donald Miller

Starting Life Over Means Learning When to Quit

Donald Miller
I’m continuing my Start Life Over series today. The series is about the underpinning beliefs we all need to have to really change. If you want to download the entire series as a PDF, just click here. Otherwise, here we go!
The third principle of the series is this: Sometimes it’s okay to quit.
If you don’t have today off, you’re likely bored at work. Certainly not all of you, but studies show more than 50% of Americans are not inspired by their jobs. This really stinks. All that college tuition, all those hours searching and hoping for a job that fulfills us have come to this. Boredom.

I’ve been there.

I used to work at a company where I’d take an extra lap around the parking lot even though there were plenty of empty spaces, just because I didn’t want to go inside. And once inside, I’d waste time. But the horrible part wasn’t the wasting time, it was the guilt I felt because I was wasting time.
Photo Credit: Mikaela Hamilton
Photo Credit: Mikaela Hamilton
So what can be done? What do we do if we don’t like our jobs? Or for that matter, what do we do if we don’t like our lives?
My friend Bob Goff tries to quit something every Thursday. Most of the time it’s small stuff, like biting his nails and stuff. But sometimes it’s big stuff. He’s actually resigned from Boards because it was a Thursday.
The idea is twofold: 1. Get rid of anything that doesn’t need to be in your life and 2. Realize you don’t have to be stuck in a rut.

You can quit things.

If you’re in a dating relationship that’s been killing you, quit. If you aren’t happy with that small group you’ve been meeting with, quit. It’s not like you’re quitting your spouse or God, you’re just living out the God-given reality you’ve got choices and are completely allowed to make them.
And if you’re really bold, you can even quit your job. I know it sounds crazy and there are all sorts of reasons we should stay. We have to feed our children. We have to make our mortgage payments. But wouldn’t you just love to quit? Wouldn’t you love to wake up, perhaps a month from now, and love your work instead of being so bored?
Warren Buffet says the secret to successful people is they have learned to say no to almost everything. They aren’t people who go around seeking security. They seek the big life.

And because they seek it, they get it.

I had a friend years ago who hated his job. He complained all the time about his associates and his boss. That didn’t bother me too much, but one day when he was talking about his son, who also hated his job, he said “you know what my boy needs to learn? He needs to learn that everybody hates their job. They’re supposed to hate their job. Working isn’t supposed to be fun; that’s in the Bible.”
I stood there taken aback. I completely disagreed with him. I loved my job. And the Bible said work would be hard, not that it was supposed to be miserable.
Here’s something I’ve learned over the years. People who are willing to wait for what they want have a much higher percentage chance of enjoying life in the long run. And those who choose security over passion have a much higher chance of not enjoying life.
Now I’ve likely offended most of the people reading this. And I apologize for that. God knows I’m not asking all of you to quit your jobs. That’s a big step.

But do we really have to settle?

I mean were you really created to be born, be bored, then be buried? Is that what God had in mind?
Ask yourself this: how many decisions are you making because you want security? And how’s that going for you? What’s one thing you can do to make your life more passionate and enjoyable? If you did that thing, what would be the next thing that would make life more passionate and enjoyable? And then what’s the thing after that?
What if, by the end of 2015, you were doing something in your life you didn’t hate? Something that didn’t make you bored? What if?

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