Last weekend I passed my first Kung Fu test. This means that my introductory period is over and I have been invited to apply to the mastery program. Showing basic martial competency as well as a token knowledge of history and a good understanding of decorum was required before I could advance. All that is left if this application to state my intent and a meeting with the Sifu – the headmaster of the school.

The hardest part of this process hasn’t been the test, it’s this application.

You see, this school is looking for students who are in it for the long haul. They want students that will be there and be dedicated over a long period of time. Not only does this make practical business sense, it makes for a good teaching and learning environment. As such, the lengthy questionnaire I’ve been filling out has some challenging questions. One is particularly interesting and that’s where I get the title of this post.

Here it is in abbreviated format:

If you should ever lose motivation, how will you work with us to re-motivate yourself and reinforce your commitment to fulfilling your goals?

What a !@#$ing question!

I give my response in an Open Letter to My Quitting Self here.

Dear Quitting Self,

I hope you know what you’re doing. You’ve never quit anything before. Why is this time different? Have your underlying assumptions changed? Have you found a different goal that’s worthy to pursue? I certainly hope so.

You’re a goal-driven person so be sure you have your next adventure clearly defined ahead of time before you make this change. If you have no challenge, you’ll get bored. And we know that boredom is the exact opposite of fun so we don’t want that.

It’s okay to move your attentions, effort and time to a new goal. It is not okay to squander any of these resources. They come in limited supply – especially time. Just be sure you’re moving your resources like you’d trade a stock – to better deploy them in the expectation of a higher return.

Be sure you have a game plan and an exit strategy. Never walk into any entranceway you can’t figure at least two other ways back out of.

Make certain your excited about this change. You should be happier and feel lighter on your feet. If your gut is against you, that’s a sign you should investigate further.

Good luck!

Sincerely, Currently Goal Seeking Self.

What About You?

What are you currently wrapped up in? What would you write to a future quitting self?

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Comments (4)

Don’t look at it as quitting. Not every endeavor is meant to be taken to the fullest possible extent. Is it better to experience or sample mutiple activities or master only a few? You at least made the effort to see if it was something you might enjoy.

Hi Johnathan,

I think I didn’t explain myself fully; I am NOT quitting. Part of the application to go to the next phase of my training is to write a few sentences on how to re-motivate myself should I quit in the future.

I do agree with your sentiment that not everything is meant to be pursued forever. I am, however, continuing this pursuit for the near term! (As well as a few others!)

Haha, I liked how you responded to the commenter above. I think a quitting self doesn’t necessarily means somebody that quits, but somebody that is on the verge of quitting? I’m not too sure, but whatever path you choose to take, I hope you find the motivation to succeed in whatever you do and wish you the best. Good luck man!

Thanks for the warm wishes, Hulbert!

Your blog has a great amount of momentum and obviously you have a great passion for it. And because of that passion, you spend a great deal of time and effort on it.

But such efforts are not always fun. Have you ever thought about quitting it and walking away? Could you imagine yourself in the future getting so frustrated or so busy that you just want to give it all up? Such thoughts seem impossible when we are entirely wrapped up in a passion but we all know passions can fade.

What would your currently passionate blogging self tell a (potential) future stressed you who was thinking about giving it all up?

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