Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Dip

I just finished reading The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (And When to Stick) by Seth Godin. It’s a quick read (76 pages), and he brings up an interesting argument that fly’s in the face of what we’ve been taught our whole lives: winners never quit, quitters never win.

He claims the old saying is wrong—winners do quit and quitters do win. The difference is that a winner knows when to quit something that won’t get better. A winner knows when to battle through The Dip, and when to move on, while a loser continues to fight an unwinnable battle and refuses to shift their resources into something more valuable.

Winners quit fast, quit often, and quit without guilt—until they commit to beating the right Dip for the right reasons. In fact, winners seek out the Dip. They realize that the bigger the barrier, the bigger the reward for getting past it. If you can become number one in your own niche, you’ll get more than your fair share of profits, glory, and long-term security. Losers, on the other hand, fall into two basic traps. Either they fail to stick out the Dip—they get to the moment of truth and then give up—or they never even find the right Dip to conquer.
- Seth Godin (The Dip)

What is The Dip? The Dip is the long hard slog that most successful people endure on their way to mastery. Initially, something new gets you excited. Feedback is abundant from those around you. However, over time, most people fall victim to The Dip—the trials and tribulations that accompany anything worth fighting for.

Here is an example of The Dip in my life:

When I bought my first guitar, I was excited. My parents and friends were astounded that I wanted to learn and play guitar. The feedback stimulated my excitement. However, once I tried to teach myself, The Dip set in. This is where most unsuccessful people quit. The excitement wore off. The feedback ceased because I was a beginner—nobody wants to hear a beginner, they want to hear someone with talent. At first, I quit in The Dip. Every time I tried to play, I felt like I wasn’t getting any better. I felt like it would take too much time and effort to play the guitar.

Then came the breakthrough. It started when I learned three chords—A, C, and G. I found out I didn’t need feedback because I just enjoyed learning to play the guitar. It took roughly five years to fully overcome The Dip, but I learned a lot about myself along the way. For me, I think this is the secret to success—finding the things you really enjoy doing, even when there is minimal feedback to guide your path and ensure your success.

More to come on this topic...

1 comment:

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