June 19, 2014

“Know When to Walk Away. Know When to Run.”

I’m guessing many of you recognize the above quote from Kenny Rogers’ song, “The Gambler”. (And, for those who don’t, the complete refrain is, “You got to know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em/Know when to walk away and know when to run.”)

I’ve been thinking a lot about these lyrics in the past week while making some hard business decisions, and have come back around to an idea I’ve had for a long time that is—essentially– that quitting is underrated.

Now I’m not talking about trying something that’s difficult and not being good at it and moving briskly along to something that will bolster your self-esteem. People like that make me insane. I’m talking about when you’ve given a person or situation the best you have to offer and still leave every encounter, thinking, “What just happened to me?”

None of which is to say anyone else has done wrong—everyone is entitled to their point of view—but all of which is to say there comes a time when you need to realize, “There’s nothing left for me here.”

You need to back your own talent.

Now, when you do, I also recommend bearing in mind that breakups are like handguns: everything is improved by a 24 hour waiting period. Nothing is achieved by saying what you think and feel in the moment.

Another thing I’ve also realized as I’ve gotten older is that it’s also not my job to try to educate others about my point of view. Your 24-hour waiting period aside, it may never be productive to attempt to discuss the why’s and wherefores with those in question.

You just need to know when to hold’em, and know when to fold’em. Because, “Every gambler knows that the secret to survivin’/Is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep.”

Frances Cole Jones

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