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How to know when it’s time to quit.

I remember when I was growing up, the other kids would tell me that they hated going to basketball or lacrosse practice, but their parents had taught them not to be quitters so they just toughed it out. I was always totally mystified by this. I had tried and quit just about every sport available and I had no problem with it. (The only thing I stuck with was tennis because I liked the skirts.)

What was the point in grinning and bearing it through hours of practicing something you had no intention of doing past graduation? What was the point of wasting hours of our precious childhood just so as not to be seen as a “quitter.” I just didn’t get it. It turns out, this same philosophy applies to my adult life (and perhaps to yours.)

I’m a quitter and proud of it. It means I’m in hot pursuit of my passion and purpose. It means I know what feels good and what doesn’t. It meant I value my time, my energy, and myself.

When I left on The Freedom Tour and told people I was going on an “indefinite road trip around North America” the most common question I got was, “For how long?” to which I would reply, “Until I’m done.”

In early September my man Mike and I decided not to go to Asia in Spring 2012 because it just didn’t feel right to either of us. So we decided to stay put somewhere for six months or so. We were already in Scottsdale, AZ and since I have family there and the weather is awesome in the winter, we decided that was our spot. We found a gorgeous apartment. We scouted yoga classes and rock gyms and juice bars.

Two weeks ago I was in NYC for Marie Forleo‘s spectacular event Rich, Happy, and Hot Live. I told my friends who I ran into on Friday night that I was moving to Scottsdale, AZ. Every time I said it, the response was, “Why?” And inside me every time I said I was moving there, I asked myself, “Why?”

Do you ever make a plan just so you can have something to tell people?

I called Mike that night and he told me my aunt and uncle were leaving Scottsdale and given that they were basically my only community there, it suddenly dawned on me that there was no good reason to move there. Moreover, it didn’t feel good, and quite frankly that’s all that matters.

Based pretty much all on instinct and what feels good, Mike and I have decided to move to Sag Harbor, NY. We’re actually going to sign a lease and stay put. I’m going to teach yoga. We’re going to eat vegetables, build solid businesses, and work out with consistency. (All of these things, and more, have been challenging on the road.) I’m going to write a book and hibernate.

Yes, it appears that that moment of “Until I’m done” has arrived. The Freedom Tour is winding down in absolute perfect timing.

Have I done everything I planned on The Freedom Tour? No. Absolutely not. In fact, the last nine months turned out nothing like I had imagined. They were better.

Those parents of my childhood friends might look at me and call me a quitter. This year I ended a business partnership that I’d invested three and a half years in. I ended another business partnership that I’d invested several thousand miles, several thousand brain cells, and several months in. I bowed out on an investment where I had a large chunk of change coming my way. I said no to a sponsorship deal with several zeros even though the paperwork had already been signed.  None of these things felt right anymore so I quit.

Call me a quitter. I welcome it.

Just like it makes no sense to spend an entire winter of beautiful afternoon hours in a stinky gym if you don’t even like basketball just so you won’t be a quitter, it makes no sense to keep doing anything that no longer feels right or feels good. Even if you’ve invested thousands of hours or thousands of dollars. Even if it will disappoint someone. Even if it used to feel like a good idea and suddenly it doesn’t anymore.

It doesn’t matter. I give you permission to quit. If you feel done, you’re done. That’s the only information you need. Let it go. Expand your expense allowance for “projects that I decided not to pursue further because they didn’t feel good” and simply write it off at the end of the year. Let it go. Move on. Quit.

There will never be a payoff after spending time, resources, and precious energy doing something that no longer feels good that will make it worth it. I promise. It just won’t happen.

So, I’m quitting The Freedom Tour as it currently exists. I don’t quite know what it will morph into, but I’m certainly not quitting on freedom.

Next up: an exploration of freedom within the structure of living in one place and having regular routines. Stay tuned.

 

What are you doing that doesn’t feel good anymore?

What are you doing that doesn’t feel right anymore?

What do you continue to do just so you won’t be a quitter?

Have you ever been called a quitter? Why?

What are you ready to quit?

What are you ready to let go of? Leave a declaration here!

Leave a comment. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say on this!

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