The old saying “quit while you’re ahead” is more than meets the eye. One of the interpretations is “call it a day while the going is still good”. There are instances where this may be sound advice… I was thinking about areas I’ve grown in and I realized there is an area that I am happy with progress in. It has taken a lot of time and effort for progress. Part of me felt I should “quit while ahead”, then it occurred to me…
The “quit-while-ahead-philosophy” can be a reflection of some things:
That you feel you are at the best of your game and you cannot be any better. This can be due to fear. When you think you arrived at a place by chance. It is easy to feel this way.
Be as systematic as you can be to be able to repeat success. This is true for your personal life and that of your organization or team. As you go along take note of steps you take as well as why you take them. Those with greater faith than fear will go farther.
Quitting while ahead could be a sign that you are getting lazy. Laziness is one progress killer you must avoid. It could be that you just don’t want to do any more work to even go further and accomplish more.
Not only individuals get lazy but there is also “organizational laziness“.
Organizations can start letting small things go such as taking longer to get back to clients when they don’t have to or neglecting details.
Embracing the “quit-while-ahead philosophy” may mean you are more concerned about having a legacy that is intact than one of constant, progressive and daring curiosity. Pursue a legacy of pushing boundaries in an attempt to go farther and accomplish more settling after a success.
Let your success be something that spurs not cripples you. Never allow the success you’re experiencing now to rob the future of greater possibility! You are the one who decides when “you’ve arrived”.
Success has a “best before” date and must be managed for longevity.
As long as you’re alive you haven’t exhausted all you are and can give! It is sad that some people feel they have lived their entire lives while they’re still alive. Risk taking is one of your guarantors against stagnation and irrelevance.
Walking in the “quit-while-you’re- ahead” attitude means you are more optimistic about the present than the future. If you have managed to do better than you have before, you can do better than you think is your best right now.
The “quit-while-ahead-philosophy” is faithlessness expressed
In the context of a leader or organization it says we have no faith in our vision for the future. This is how many organizations end up irrelevant or dead: when they believe that they have given the best they will ever give. For organizations to not only survive but thrive they must fulfill their vision today AND see themselves doing the same into the future.
[illustration by shawncampbell | cc]