How to Quit
Not finding anyone to play with, a kid took out his baseball bat and decided to practice alone. He said out aloud, "I am the greatest baseball player in the world" and threw the ball up. He swung his bat and missed. He picked up the ball and repeated, "I am the greatest baseball player in the world". He threw the ball, swung his bat and missed.
Dauntless, he concentrated hard for a moment on the bat and ball in his hand. Again he said, "I am the greatest baseball player in the world" and with a determined focus, threw the ball up and swung the bat hard. But again he missed.
He paused for moment.
And then picking up the ball, told himself, "Wow, I am the world's greatest pitcher!".
The moral of the story -
"What really sets superstars apart from everyone else is the ability to escape dead ends quickly, while staying focused and motivated when it really counts." - Seth Godin
Marissa Ann Mayer, the vice-president for search products and user experience at Google, offers a similar counter intuitive advice - fail faster. In her words (from Turning Limitations into Innovation):
"Have you ever wondered how a product so lame got to market, a movie so bad actually got released, a government policy so misguided got passed?
In cases like these, the people working on it have spent so much time and are so personally invested that it's too painful to walk away. They often know the project is misguided, yet they see the effort through to the painful, unsuccessful end. That's why it's important to discover failure fast and abandon it quickly. A limited investment makes it easier to walk away and move on to something else that has a better chance of success."
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