It’s a book that begs you to examine yourself closely, where you’ve been, where you are, and where you plan to go.
If you want to know the basics, read this post about the dip at the personal MBA.
Let me share some observations inspired by Seth’s book…
Seth stresses the value of the dip and the value of quitting before you ever reach the dip. That’s right, the value of quitting before things get tough. He writes that there is no point in quitting once you are in the dip because you’re already experiencing the pain – if you are going to quit – quit before the dip – it’s cheaper and it’s smarter.
Seth also writes about getting off the cul-de-sacs that breed mediocrity. Getting off the cul-de-sac is the art of strategic and tactical quitting.
Reaching your goals is like climbing a ladder – to grab the next rung you have to let go of the rung you are clinging to. You get in trouble when you’ve climbed to a decent height, get comfortable, look down, become paralyzed with fear, and fail to keep moving, so you sit there… getting tense as you cling…looking up at your goal…looking down in fear…the longer you stay there the harder it is to grab the next rung and the more appealing it is to climb down to a safer level. I believe that this is the dip Seth writes about, and it separates good from great. The good hang on… but the great find a way to keep climbing.
I must admit, I have quit all my big ventures in the dip. But I don’t feel bad about quitting, because each time they were strategic decisions. The only regret I have is not quitting earlier. Let me give you some personal examples of how quitting can be smart.
I once set a goal to be a commercial airline pilot. I thought it was what I wanted… but the dip straightened me out… if I had done some research before I started, I could have saved a lot of time and money, because I wasn’t willing to pay the price – to negotiate the dip – to achieve my goal. I wasn’t willing to join the military and they wouldn’t have taken me anyway. I wasn’t willing to fly the bush in Alaska, the Philippines, or the Caribbean. I wasn’t willing to work 28 days a month for $800.00 flying for a small regional airline. So what was I doing flying airplanes? Wasting my time! I learned of all these hardships after I hit the dip. I quit, and wasted a lot of money. It was a strategic life decision and it was the right one to make before I wasted any more time and money.
About ten years ago, I decided I wanted to be a politician. I ran for office, and at first I loved it. But after meeting successful politicians – the less I liked it. I observed the brutal schedules they kept, watched the moral compromises they made, and saw political life change them. But the worst were the attacks and threats their families had to endure. I realized it wasn’t for me – I wasn’t willing to pay the price – even if I became the best I could be, I’d hate it. So again… in the dip, I made a strategic decision and quit.
I experienced the same scenario playing in a band and starting a dot com in 1998. I quit in the dip. I don’t regret quitting, because each venture and each quit taught me valuable lessons about life.
Well I’m in a dip right now… but I can see the other side…and this time it looks like the place I want to go.
So go ahead and pick up a copy of Seth’s book – the dip… you won’t regret it…it’ll be the best eight bucks you’ll spend this year.
Thanks for the book and thanks for the encouragement Seth. I’ll see you on the other side of the dip.