The number of physicians who are reaching burnout is staggering, and it’s no surprise, as medical schools only recently began teaching students how to be well and take care of themselves. But another reason is often that the pressure put on doctors to be perfect and fulfill society’s expectations is often crushing.
This week’s guest, Dr. Kien Vuu, was headed down a less-than-healthy road himself when he realized part of why he went into medicine was to treat his “not enough-ness.” It took quitting that mindset and cultivating an attitude of success and gratitude to be able to turn his life around and become the true healer he knew he was inside.
If you happen to be feeling stuck in some area of your life, and may be contemplating a quit or wanting to learn more about strategic quitting, come hang out with me on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, or check out my new book!
In addition, I’ve started taking on some private coaching clients, if you’d like to be one of them, click HERE to set up a call so we can dive deeply into your unique quit.
Also, I’d love to have you join us over in QUITOPIA, the facebook group for the few, the proud, the quitters, where I share more quitting related content and we can all interact and support each other through our quits.
One last thing – if you have an iPhone, or an iPad, or an i-Anything, and you find the info on Quit Happens to be valuable, I’d really appreciate it if you could leave a rating or a review. To do so, pull up the show in the Podcast app and then scroll to the bottom, and click on write a review. Giving the show a rating or review or sharing it with a friend all are great ways to help other people find the show so they too can get started quitting their way to a more fulfilling life.
If you’re not in your dream job or your ideal city, you may think of quitting it all and moving. But how do you get to where you’d like to be…and how do you know that new reality is going to serve you better than the current one?
This week’s guest, entrepreneur and storytelling consultant Mark Guay, knew he had to leave New York and his teaching career. So he began to envision living in a new climate and working from home. And over time, the exact visions he’d been manifesting slowly became reality.
Many of us have passions in several different areas, but the traditional 40-hour workweeks keep us from having time to pursue more than one calling. And for certain professions, like surgeons, the typical week doesn’t stop at 40 hours, so starting a side project is nearly impossible.
But this week’s guest, facial plastic surgeon Dr. Amit Patel, used a very strategic quit to ensure he had time to pursue multiple passions. His story is a testament to the importance of exploring all possibilities when carving out a career path.
Many high-performing types like to set intense physical goals for themselves, like running a marathon or participating in a bodybuilding competition. But what happens when something comes in the way of that goal…like the fact that the drive is no longer there?
This week’s guest Elsye Walker faced just such a challenge when hiking the Appalachian Trail…and her story is a must-hear for top physical performers facing challenges along their paths.
Some kids have no idea what they want to be when they grow up. Peter Bragino was NOT one of those kids. His intuition told him what his life’s path would be at a young age, but figuring out how to follow it required more than one quit…and at least one not-so-strategic quit that ended up being the opportunity he needed to follow his passion.
Take a listen as the Marine turned salesman turned professional artist tells of his journey, guided by intuition at every turn.
Have you ever watched the news and thought the anchors had the greatest job? Now can you imagine walking away from it? Well this week’s guest did just that.
Lindsay France, former anchor for the news networks RT and RT America, had successfully built a career as a news anchor. But through covering the 2016 Presidential primaries she found a new and more intense passion that was better aligned with her values…which led to her walking away from the anchor’s desk and taking her career in a new direction.
Take a listen as she provides some great advice on finding your passion, following your principles, and using side gigs to prevent the dreaded JOB LOCK!
I met with a friend last night who was contemplating quitting his job. And not because there was anything necessarily wrong with the job. More so because when he wasn’t at his best or most efficient, there were no actual repercussions, which allowed time for his mind to wander and for him to often feel bored. And also because he wanted to do the same type of work, but with the freedom of being able to do it wherever and whenever he wanted.
So while some of us get anxious or stressed because parts of a job are causing us grief, he was suffering from a different sensation, one I can only best describe as restlessness. A feeling of “there could be more.” I appreciated him bringing this to me, because that’s a quitting situation that generally only those really in touch with their true desires approach.
Like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, there is also a hierarchy of quits. There are the basic quits that can save a life — for example, quitting a relationship that involves abuse. Then there are the quits that can save one’s health — like when you quit a job that causes ulcer-inducing levels of stress. But somewhere near the top are the quits that aren’t due to decreasing health or happiness…they’re due to knowing that on the other side there’s even more happiness and fulfillment.
In the hierarchy of needs, a person has to fulfill the basic needs of food and shelter before moving on to fulfilling the desire for love, and eventually, self-actualization. Similarly, quitting something that isn’t harming you in any way assumes that nothing is currently jeopardizing your life or physical/mental health. It’s the goal to which we should all aspire.
But it’s not where most of us start, so let’s start at the beginning. Is there something threatening your life? Start the quitting there. Please. Like immediately. With a call to 911 or a visit to a local shelter or to a medical professional. And if not (which I sincerely hope is the case), then ask yourself if there’s something jeopardizing your physical or mental health. If so, then make that your quitting priority.
However, if none of these describe you, well, first of all — congratulations! You’re at the level where you can evaluate whether there’s more that life can offer you. So take a look at your relationships, your job, your career, your living situation. If any part of it could be more fulfilling, more rewarding, more aligned with your goals and mission, then perhaps it’s time to consider an upgrade.
No, it’s not the beginning of a joke. It’s just what happens every time I go into a bar. I have a medical degree and a law degree…and if there were a professional certification for quitting, I’d not only have it, but I’d display it in my office as proudly as I do the other two.
I consider myself an expert-level quitter, and it’s a distinction to which I firmly believe more people should aspire.
Why? Because quitting is the most underrated tool for achieving success not only in business, but in relationships, personal happiness and well-being. In fact, it’s one of the most underrated self-care tools out there.
The walls of Amazon’s virtual bookstore are overflowing with self-help books telling us to live our best lives. But rarely do they address one of the main reasons that people get stuck in something less than their best life: no one tells them how to get through the necessary quits to leave whatever isn’t working. They just tell you to transform your life and strive to make progress…until one day you’ve suddenly arrived at said ideal life.
And quitting ain’t easy.
It’s a process fraught with unwarranted stigma -partially thanks to unhelpful sayings like “quitters never win and winners never quit.” And if you can get past the stigma, you’re then smacked in the face with many of the fears associated with quitting, like wondering if another opportunity will arise to replace whatever you’re leaving, or wondering what people will think about your quitting, or fear that the new scenario you find post-quit won’t truly be more fulfilling than the original one.
It’s enough to make someone just stay put. Stuck in the less-than-ideal.
But it doesn’t have to be. Quitting can be your best friend. But not just regular old quitting. Strategic quitting.
Now I could tell you theoretically about why strategic quitting is the greatest thing since avocado toast, but I think it will be slightly more effective if I show you what it looks like in the real world. Because at this point you may be (understandably) wondering how someone with both medical and law degrees has ever quit anything.
I quit all the time.
Because what does it take to get through that much school and training? Time, money, and energy. How was I able to make sure I had enough of all three to get through? By quitting things that were draining my time/money/energy and focusing only on the things that served me.
So what does it look like in action? Before medical school, I was a multimedia designer, but the sinking feeling I got while sitting in coding classes learning new programming languages told me this was not the field for me — so I quit. I started completely fresh and decided to try to get into medical school.
And after I finished medical school and residency in family medicine, I finally got to my sports medicine fellowship, as I had decided I wanted to be a sports doc. However, I got that same feeling when I was doing sports medicine — like something just wasn’t right. Mostly I didn’t like that the hours were somehow both 9 to 5 and nights and weekends, leaving little time for myself.
So I quit. Again.
At this point you may be thinking, “whoa…but what about all of that time and money you wasted on medical school?” Well that’s where strategic quitting comes in. With regular quitting, I would have walked away from medicine altogether and tried some other career that may have had all the same attributes I disliked about medicine.
But with strategic quitting, you take stock of exactly what parts of a job or relationship, etc. aren’t working for you, and quit only those…and you stay vigilant not to get in new situations that have features that didn’t work for you previously. And as long as you learned something from a past situation, it wasn’t a waste.
So I quit the long hours of sports medicine, and took a job where I make my own schedule. And in the future, you can bet that I won’t be taking any new jobs that have night or weekend hours, because I learned from my previous experience. And as for the money and time I spent? Well having spent a lot of time or money on something that isn’t working for you is a terrible reason to spend more time or money on it. Sticking it out doesn’t get you back your investment, it just gets you further from where you want to be.
Now you may be plenty happy in your job or relationship, but what about some smaller things that may be stressing you out?
Here’s another real-life example. I finished yoga teacher training last year, and during my training I had an unlimited membership to the yoga studio. However, shortly after receiving my instructor certification, I started volunteering with a political campaign and didn’t have time to go often enough to make the membership worth the money, which started to stress me out. Yes, you heard that right, yoga was stressing me out.
So what did I do? Did I quit yoga? Obviously not! I just quit the unlimited membership and switched to a class card, thereby taking away all the guilt and stress I felt over not being able to make it to class as much as I needed to.
Now look at your own life…is there something that brings you stress or causes a sinking feeling in your stomach? Is your body subtly trying to tell you to make a change by giving you heartburn or keeping you awake at night? As a doctor, I can tell you the effects of staying in something that is wrong for you are not minimal. Stress is a leading health risk these days, and a major cause of stress is doing something that’s not in line with your own personal good.
So if your job doesn’t light you up, or your relationship brings you anxiety, or your city just isn’t working for you anymore, I urge you to make close friends with strategic quitting before your body stops whispering to you and starts yelling in the form of chronic pain, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and more.
Strategic quitting is the self-care tool you never knew you needed, but that you’ll never give up once you’ve got it down.