This is not one of those posts where I pretend to have an answer.
Today, dear reader, I come to you with a question. Possibly one of the oldest questions humanity has struggled with, after “is that food?” and “can I procreate with that?” Many prominent philosophers have posited and pontificated on this premise (sorry, I have an affinity for alliteration) but I believe it was best summarized by the wise masters known to many as The Clash.
Should I stay or should I go?
Life presents us with a series of challenges, often on a daily basis. These challenges might be small, spanning minutes or hours, or they might be large, spanning months or years. They might manifest themselves in our careers, in our projects, in our friendships, in our relationships, in our hobbies, in our daily activities. No matter what the case or context, to meet these challenges, we receive a consistent set of conflicting advice.
1: Never Give Up.
Life is not always easy, nor is it always happy. There will be times you want to quit, but you shouldn’t. When the going gets tough, the tough get to work. Fighting for something or someone you care about or believe in is worth it, even if it doesn’t seem like it in the moment. Sometimes the hardest challenges are the most rewarding. Don’t just run away from your problems. Every cloud has a silver lining. Trust your goals. It is strong to make this decision.
2: Never Settle.
Do not let yourself be dragged down by anchors. Cut ties with the things that are holding you back. Life is too short to be perpetually miserable. Look for the things/activities/people that make you a better version of yourself. Do not settle for negativity just because it’s the way things are. It’s ok to move on from things you care about or endeavors you invested a lot of time into, even if it hurts, if they are ultimately bringing you down. When one door closes, another opens. Trust your feelings. It is strong to make this decision.
How do you decide which advice to take?
How do you know if a challenge is worth fighting for, or if you need to let it go? Is there a specific amount of time to tolerate shitty days or sleepless nights? Is there a specific ratio of “this makes my life better” to “this makes my life worse” that we should be looking for? Does it change based on the significance of the challenge? Does it change based on how hard the decision is or how much it would change your life? Does it change based on the importance of the perceived outcome? If so, why is it different?
Is the criteria different based on whether we are talking about a hobby, a career, a relationship? Is it about love, about passion, about dedication? All three can make you see clearly, and they can also make you blind. Does the involvement of other people affect the rationale for the decision? If so, why is it different?
Does anybody actually have this figured out?