TED Conversations

Thaddea Thompson

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When is it time to quit? And how does one know?

My class was discussing this topic. And while I may sound like a fool I don't think anyone should ever give up.

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    Mar 28 2013: You don't lose until you give up.
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      Mar 29 2013: Whoa! Nonsense.
      You're losing all the time until you win. You could be investing your time and effort in something more productive. You can't hope to complete everything you start so quitting the poor performers and sticking longer with the better ones is an essential part of success.
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        Mar 29 2013: Your saying prioritize, ok.
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          Mar 30 2013: No I'm not. There are plenty of times when you should quit regardless of any other project. If something isn't getting anywhere then bail out and save your daily investment of worry/money/hassle.
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        Mar 29 2013: Peter are you implying that quitting is a part of success?
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          Mar 30 2013: Yes. Decision making means selecting from choices. If you've made a bad one then recognise it, accept it and learn from it. 'Wishing it wasn't so' is a recipe for failure.
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        Mar 29 2013: Productivity is just one measure of success. Success may also be found in the doing, regardless of conventional measures of "success."
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          Mar 30 2013: Bad use of semantics. Success is achieving a goal. Productivity means effort expended in relation to rewards. Let me suggest what you meant was 'rewards do not have to come from achieving goals.' So for example even though you didn't get accepted for the athletics team all that training has made you a lot fitter.
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        Apr 2 2013: “When is it time to quit?” In a way, TED tells us when to quit, since we’re only given so many response possibilities in the “conversation” before the ability to reply dries up. So I’m jumping back one level to reply:

        I had written, as a reply to a reply of yours, “Productivity is just one measure of success. Success may also be found in the doing, regardless of conventional measures of success."

        You treated me to this corrective:
        Bad use of semantics. Success is achieving a goal. Productivity means effort expended in relation to rewards. Let me suggest what you meant was … etc

        Now, I appreciate correction as much as the next man, but not so much when the correction is erratic. Your judgement of “bad use of semantics” is false and seems to be based on a limited understanding of certain words. You claim that “success” and “productivity” have one and only one meaning. That’s perhaps true for a project engineer on the job, but in the wider world they each have a wider meaning. So it turns out that the semantics were perfectly acceptable and reasonably clear to someone who can get outside of jargon. One can certainly have successes that don’t involve having set the outcome as a goal, and productivity, which you define as E/R, can mean so much more, as is generally understood.

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