So, I have never been a quitter- at anything. In fact, I will usually push for something with so much intensity that it’s borderline self-destructive. Or in the case of silly things like board games and obscure sports, absolutely ridiculous. Nevertheless, in school, jobs, friendships, sports and pretty much anything else I do, I strive to do it the best I can (besides cleaning- but I don’t do that at all, so it doesn’t count). The philosophy I have lived my life by is this: One should not feel regret from failure, but from giving up, or allowing perseverance to wither in the face of trial or challenge. But more recently, i’ve begun to re-evaluate this philosophy a bit. Several situations I have recently encountered seem to present the quandary: can pushing for something for too long become a case of “beating a dead horse”, as the saying goes? Or in another example, is it ever the wiser idea to “quit the party while it’s still good”? In other words, are there times when the wise thing to do is to quit something if it is most likely fruitless to continue? After all, once you have moved on from that hopeless situation, you can spend your time and energy on endeavors that are likely to provide more gain and reward. Continuing to force something that isn’t there may, I am beginning to believe, be a waste of time; and not only because it is not paying off in the way that you had hoped, but it’s preventing you from applying yourself to pursuits that realistically will. I still feel that how you approach and handle a situation is a better determinant of how you should feel about your efforts than the manifest outcome (which might be failure, even following a great try). But, maybe part of success comes not from working hard, but working smart. If you are pounding away with all of your might to fit a circle into a square, at that point it stops being admirable and noble, and starts being stupid, destructive, and demoralizing. Right now, i’m trying case by case to distinguish between the things I should never let slip away, and the things that will hold me back if I hold on for too long. Furthermore, I am beginning to realize the benefit of tossing something before it starts to spoil. One can prevent a bitter taste in one’s mouth by simply trusting that the food has expired, and throwing it away before the delicious memories are ruined with one last nauseating nibble. For now, I feel the best way to make these choices is listening to my head and heart- if one or both of them feel that “quitting” is the best thing, I feel strongly enough about my judgment to listen. Who agrees?