Quitting is a privilege.

I've wanted to quit more times than I care to share. The vast majority of times, they were, at one time, things I chose to do.

Most people on this planet don't have the option to try the things I've very nearly quit.

I didn't learn resilience, at least not until much later in life. Instead of working through the difficult times, when something didn't go my way, I was passively encouraged to quit.

As I got older, I carried around those bad habits.

A well-intentioned professor wanted us to come in every Friday afternoon to discuss our research with other graduate students, and I purposely didn't schedule classes on Friday: I nearly quit.

A juvenile manager treated the office like high school, complete with cliques and office romances, and I just wanted to learn about transit planning and scheduling: I nearly quit.

An ambitious and assiduous executive assigned me three senior-level jobs simultaneously because he trusted me to do the work, even though one of the jobs often required urgent interventions due to senstive HR matters (um, I'm an urban planner): I nearly quit.

Perhaps that's a biproduct of being an only child. Or, maybe those situations were bad enough to quit. Really, I'm not sure.

However, I am very sure that I'm happy I didn't quit. I have my spouse to thank for that β€” good support systems help balance you out.

If I had taken the off ramp in any of those above situations, I could have experienced a complete derailment on my career.

I stuck with each, not even for a terribly long time either. But, good things came my way. And, I don't mean in some cause/effect way.

By tolerating the predicament for one or two years in each case, I exceeded my goals.

I earned a master of science degree.

I was promoted to manager.

I leveraged my experience and switched to software.

Resilience is often associated with general toughness and grit. Though, I've found that toughness doesn't quite cut it. Toughness says don't let something affect you.

But, of course, that's not entirely realistic. I'm not Buddha.

Elasticity captures resilience more holistically.

How long will that aggravation affect you? How quickly do you bounce back? How do you treat people after you've overcome your spell.

Resilience is being able to retake your prior shape.

Maybe my "nearly quits" were mearly threats. Either way, I proved resilient in those moments.

Sometimes quitting is the right move. In my experience, it needs to be fully measured.

If you're able to revert to your prior shape and persevere, resiliency can pay off.

by @jlevimccollum

🚍 πŸ—ΊοΈ πŸ“Š Geographer working to build better government.