The Dip: The Extraordinary Benefits of Knowing When to Quit (and When to Stick) by Seth Godin
If you think that winners never quit, think again. In The Dip: The Extraordinary Benefits of Knowing When to Quit (and When to Stick), Seth Godin puts up a compelling argument of why quitting is a great strategy for becoming successful.
Seth Godin is an American bestselling author whose books have been translated worldwide. He’s also one of the best-known bloggers in the world. The appreciation he receives is because he manages to put seductive ideas into striking and nonconformist concepts.
STRATEGIC QUITTING / THE DIP
“Every important achievement will first challenge your resistance through a Dip.”
The Dip is a small and dense book that teaches you how to manage your resources in order to reach your aims. It’s an easy and enjoyable read that prompts serious introspection and personal revelations.
The book is divided into two main sections:
Each main section is further divided into several subsections that either point to the main ideas of the book or help explain them through relevant examples.
Let’s go through some of them to give you a taste of what The Dip is all about.
“I feel like giving up.” is one of the book’s subsections, and it’s also the phrase Godin chooses to start his book with. It’s indeed a well-chosen phrase because it plunges the reader into the essence of the book whilst forcing them to reflect upon personal fears.
Have you ever told yourself that you feel like giving up? The fear of giving up comes from the common misleading association of failure with quitting. Quitting can prompt success and, according to Godin:
“Winners quit all the time. They just quit the right stuff at the right time.”
Knowing when to quit is essential. This is what really separates failure from success.
To better explain the importance of quitting to winning, Seth Godin describes the path towards accomplishing something as being an irregular one. A curvy one. He points to two main curves that can be met in almost any situation possible: The Dip and the Cul-de-Sac.
The Dip comprises all the adversities one has to face in order to become successful. It’s the cleft between the excitement of new beginnings and the rewarding bliss of real achievements. Although difficult to pass, the Dip is an indicator of successful outcomes.
The Cul-de-Sac is a dead end. Potentially as equally demanding as the Dip, the Cul-de-Sac leads nowhere. It’s a useless scatter of resources.
In another insightful subsection, Godin highlights “The Surprising Value of Being the Best in the World”. The best in the world are those who are both highly rewarded and always chosen.
This longing for the best is a consequence of a culture that celebrates winners but, just as much, also a consequence of our infinite number of options yet limited opportunities and time to experiment. People will always choose whoever is at the top of the list, because being at the top is a guarantee of quality.
Do you consider yourself to be the best in the world? If you want to be in demand, then you must be the best. And if you want to be the best, you must know that:
This difficult road leading to success is the best chance you have to become Number 1. It’s the ability to get through the drawbacks that differentiate the winners from the rest. The best are those who “instead of doing slightly above average and settling for what they’ve got, they embrace the challenge”.
To be the best you need to challenge your determination by facing your fears. You need to make sure you’ve got what it takes to go through the Dip. Consider all possible adversities and prepare yourself to face them. On the way always keep in mind that “in a competitive world, adversity is your ally”.
If you decide to face the Dip with the determination of someone who wants to be the best in the world, you need to be able to quit. You can’t be the best in the world at everything. Diversification isn’t the answer, focus is. You need to quit everything that consumes your resources without actually getting you closer to your aim.
Are you afraid you won’t know when to quit?
The Dip also offers advice for effective quitting. Among the most important are these:
- Never quit when panicked.
- You need to decide under what circumstance you should quit before starting.
Quitting isn’t easy and Seth Godin makes an important point in stating that “it is easier to be mediocre than it is to confront reality and quit”. However, although it’s easier to mistake quitting for failing, you should know that being average is just another kind of quitting. If you don’t want to fail, you have only two options: quit or be the best.
Are you intrigued? Then you’ll be thrilled to know that we’ve already pulled 100 nuggets – visual quotes – from the cleverly condensed The Dip. All smart, brief, catchy and shareable nuggets.
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