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Shawn Achor, in his book Big Potential (which is one of my favorite books) tells the story of taking part in the study as a guinea pig.
He was informed that the study’s objective was to learn how the elderly fall. And that he will get a $20-dollar stipend for participating. So, for the next three hours he was going over and over again through the pitch-black corridor filled with traps, and he repeatedly fall. He wanted to quit badly, but he wanted his $20 even more.
However, he was tricked. The study wasn’t about elderly’s falls, it was about resilience in relationship to economic gains. He was the only one who persisted the full three hours. Oh, and he could have quit at any moment and still get his $20. Shawn Achor summarized this story in those words:
Quitters sometimes DO win. Defense, resilience, and grit are valuable, but only to a point.”
Why I’m telling you this story? To demonstrate how outlandish and artificial circumstances and stories need to be invented to make the above sentences right.
Think of it for a moment: where in the real life (not during the fake study with false assumptions) quitting is ever rewarded?
Quit your job, quit your relationship, quit your school, quit the competition, and what you will gain?
Nothing. Always nothing.
The best you can count on are benefits coming from alternative costs. You might have gained a better job, relationship, or education. But quitting alone doesn’t guarantee nor provide any of those benefits. You have to first invest in the new job, relationship, school or sport. Even if you “win” the cost will be higher — because the time and resources spent on both endeavors (job, relationship, etc.) will compound into a single reward.
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