20 September, 2007


From an article about a study that purports to prove "quitters" are happier and healthier ("New research finds that people who give up on unattainable goals are physically and mentally healthier than ‘bulldogs’ who persevere against all odds").

People who simply will not or cannot give up an impossible dream eventually get emotionally defeated by their Sisyphean task. Some get clinically depressed, but many others just shut down; they become pessimistic, passive, physically and mentally depleted. This dysphoria is what allows them—forces them, really—to stop and reassess. It’s said that depressed people have a more realistic view of the world...Today a little melancholy might help us give up on that Olympic gold, and in the long run avoid killers like diabetes and heart disease.

...As people age they are forced to make tradeoffs, to abandon dreams of an illustrious career or the picture-perfect marriage. We all abandon life goals. The only question is whether we make our life adjustments with grace and good timing. The misanthropic comedian W.C. Fields anticipated much of this science when he cleverly revised that 19th-century maxim about perseverance: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” he said. “Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.”


Somebody get me a drink... maybe I'll forget I read that.

UPDATE: More giving up (read the comments).

*Just to be clear, this post has absolutely nothing to do with dear friends who have quit blogging recently.