Just Quit

When I look back at most of the tough projects I’ve attempted in the past five years, there is one thing that always happens: it gets so hard that I want to quit.

I’m learning Polish right now (apparently for the thrill, since most Polish people speak English), and soon after memorizing around 600 words and phrases, I hit a wall. My brain resisted learning new words. The noun cases and verb conjugations remained somewhat incomprehensible, and I wondered if the language was actually made for humans. The other night, in the middle of an audio lesson, a thought entered my head…

“This is pointless. Just quit.”

I wanted to quit Spanish too, but I stayed with it and remain conversational to this day.

I wanted to end my first trip to South America after one month, but stayed with it for five more and was rewarded with an experience of a lifetime.

I wanted to quit the game in the first year because it was too hard, but I kept going and developed a skillset that will stay with me until I die.

Anything that has ultimately brought value to my life, I have wanted to quit before I reached my goal. I was ready to put things aside and take the easy way out. But I’ve never trusted myself. I ignore the voice that tells me to quit, as loud as it gets, even if failure seems imminent. I refuse to listen to my brain when it whines that something is too hard.

If something isn’t worth doing, you’ll just forget about it. It fades from your life without much thought, but when your desire to quit comes from frustration, from something being too hard, then you absolutely must continue.

When the “just quit” voice popped in my head during the tough Polish lesson, I knew right then that it was something I had to continue. I decided not even to take a break. Now that a new year is upon me, I’m thinking of what project or journey or goal I’ll get into where—in a moment of weakness or temporary defeat—a voice will tell me to quit. Then I will smile and know I made the right decision in attempting it in the first place. If at some point I didn’t want to quit, it probably wasn’t worth doing.

29 Comments

  1. Zuby December 31, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Awesome post man! I’ve felt this millions of times in my career and once you pass that barrier, it’s always worth it. I think that ‘mental quitting barrier’ is what separates the 1% of people who ‘make it’ in their chosen field against those who don’t. Keep up the good work and happy new year!

    1.

  2. playmuc December 31, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Giving up is for girls. A man must only know when to stop pursuing a foolish errand that will not benefit him enough to justify it.

    However, Polish will probably unlock a new way of thinking in your linguistic brain. So for that it’s probably very worthwhile. Also, it’s a little bit pathetic if expats live in a place for a long time and don’t learn the language.

  3. Uruguayan December 31, 2012 at 9:16 am

    I plan to learn the English language, for the next northern summer, I’ll try to relate to female “Eastern Europe”.

  4. Neil Skywalker December 31, 2012 at 9:18 am

    I live by the motto “A quitter never wins and a winner never quits”

    So far it helped me out a lot of times.

  5. polskagirl December 31, 2012 at 9:48 am

    good luck 🙂

  6. asdf December 31, 2012 at 9:58 am

    The problem with this advice is its just too simple. There have been lots of things I wanted to quit before but I plowed through them. Only later did I realize they were a complete and utter waste of time.

    Didn’t you basically quit on your microbiology career or whatever.

  7. Anonymous December 31, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Bon courage!

  8. dan December 31, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Polish is a ridiculously hard language to learn, I am somewhat of a native speaker and I find English a lot easier, as do my parents who lived their the first 24 years of their lives.

  9. solo December 31, 2012 at 11:49 am

    I didn’t know Roosh wanted to quit the game at first. I appreciate reading that because I’ve realized game is indeed very hard. It helps to know others have struggled as well. I guess I’ll keep going then.

  10. Derrick December 31, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    @9: “I didn’t know Roosh wanted to quit the game at first”

    If there is anyone who says they never wanted to quit the game, they are lying.

  11. ATC December 31, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    From buying and reading “Bang,” I assume this advice doesn’t apply to relationships – in those cases we DO want to quit rather than deepen the understanding.

  12. ATC December 31, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    @Derrick
    “quit the game” as in 1) The baby mama I’ve always dreamed about is crazy about me, time to replicate! or 2) this is too difficult, I’ll just become a herbivore!

    I can understand 1) but not 2).

  13. BlurredEights December 31, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Studying Polish was extremely difficult for me, even though I was living there while I was trying to learn it. I eventually gave up, and to this day I still regret it.

    Great perspective, Roosh.

    Polska sila!

  14. decomposer917 December 31, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Such an important advice. Gaining any skill or ability takes time, effort and patience. If being good at something, i.e. – foreign language, playing a music instrument, meeting women, etc.. was that easy, then so many more people would be able to do that. However, because not listening to “just quit” voice is the ability that only a few people out there possess, these skills are so rare and impressive.

  15. judgement December 31, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Becoming fluent does not help with girls anyway. Just know elementary t impress them. Reason I say this is the girls who will date non locals usually expect you to talk English. Often women who do not know English are not so interested to talk. Besides if they pseak native local language with you, it will be baby talk. Learn 7 hundred words and be happy!

  16. Anonymous December 31, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    can the same thing be said for marriage?

  17. Antinatalism December 31, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    random chimp is suffering, btw who cares?

  18. Brazilian Gamer December 31, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Roosh, I’ve read that article on Washington Post on the crack epidemic in Brazil, and the rising Feminist imperative together with rising obesity.

    Would you still recommend men to pursue learning Portuguese?

  19. litte roosh December 31, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    what about love????????

  20. Hans Sluitspier January 1, 2013 at 8:41 am

    jak się masz?

    [Roosh: Mam się dobrze]

  21. DG January 1, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Jeen-ko-ya

  22. Peace Corps January 1, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    shtara spefka!

  23. thecaptainpower January 1, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    I don’t always see quitting as a bad thing. I quit stuff all the time, whether it’s a job that sucked, or a girlfriend that didn’t suck….

    Sometimes it’s good to quit, and sometimes its good to step on the gas.

  24. cHIPPIE January 1, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    What city are you in Roosh?

  25. Zampano January 1, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    This was really motivational to me. It’s funny how looking at the end result of something can make it seem glamorous and fun, but when you’re in the trenches trying to succeed you start to wonder if it is worth it. Like watching players who are successful with women, and then approaching a hundred girls and realizing that they are hardly receptive to you at all.

    For myself it was easy to sit back and stroke my ego using my social circle to date high quality women, but when I decided I wanted to learn how to cold approach random girls so that I could date whomever I wanted and travel the world knowing I had a skill set that would make it easy, it suddenly changed my perspective. I expect I will come back to this post many times this year as I work on developing tight game.

    No matter what happens, I must keep going.

  26. Anonymous January 1, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    Great perspective Roosh.

  27. skeet_game January 2, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    #6

    he said it is a necessary condition not a necessary and sufficient condition.

  28. Trevor January 2, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    I like this perspective. It’s helped me push through many challenges during my MMA training sessions. However, there surely is a time when we must quit. Consider the example of when you quit your job in microbiology. Clearly, the thought ‘just quit’ popped into your mind more than once.