Stop Horsing Around and Quit: Is Dona Chepa a Loser or a Lesson?

LoserThis racehorse is like 0 for 128! How does that happen?  I think if you own a horse and you reach lets say 0-60 you have to take close look at the big letter “L” on your forehead.  Does the horse know it’s the all-time loser in the history of the sport when it’s running down the track? No, I’m sure he’s just thinking about lunch (reminds me of a guy I knew in high school). Now, I believe there is a lot you can learn from losing; Ben Franklin said “I’m not a failure; I’ve just made 10,000 consecutive mistakes”. However, I think that if you have been working on something for years, putting in your best effort and you are not getting any better, you suck (no offence to people who suck)!  Knowing when to quit has to be at least as valuable as staying the course. I have learned a lot from failure but I would prefer to learn from the failure of others. Ok, that sounds slightly evil; what I mean is at some point we need to learn the lesson before we waste our time and the time of the people who depend on us. How did Dona Chepa’s Jockey feel as he prepared for race 127? Let me make it clear that I’m not blaming the horse (no PETA emails please). There are humans making those decisions and they are who we are talking about. We don’t have to be the lesson to learn the lesson; we can be a loser for a little while and then use that experience to run a race we can win.

Four things that may indicate it’s time to consider quitting:

    1. When you win the “most improved” award for the third year in a row.
    2. When they invent a new ranking or system to measure your performance because it’s too low for existing standards.
    3. When everyone you know keeps telling you that you have heart, or spunk, or courage or other words that have nothing to do with skill or talent.
    4. When you notice a lot people pat you on the back everyday.

I believe we should give life 100% (110% just proves you have a math problem) and try as hard as we can to be the very best we can be. And, we should see failure as the fuel for success.  But I think the true key to success is doing very little of what you do badly, and doing a lot of what you do well!

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