University of Chicago economics professor and co-author of Freaknomics Steven Levitt is a big believer in quitting when the going gets rough. Sticking with things until the end is considered a big virtue, and people also fall for the sunk-cost fallacy. Levitt says people need to be much more open to quitting when the going gets rough:
“One of my great skills as an economist has been to recognize the need to fail quickly and the willingness to jettison a project as soon as I realize it’s likely to fail.”
“I try to talk my grad students into quitting all the time….Quitting grad school, yeah. A lot of people — you make choices without a lot of information and then you get new information. And quitting is often the right thing to do. I try to talk my kids into quitting soccer, baseball if they’re not good at it. I mean, I’ve never had any shame in quitting. I’ve quit economic theory, I quit macroeconomics. I’ve pretty much quit everything that I’m bad at.”
Totebaggers, where do you fall along the quitting/finishing spectrum?
The impact of peer group on kids has been occasionally mentioned here, but what about the impact of adult peer groups? The No Stupid Questions podcast (an off-shoot of Freakanomics) discussed this idea recently, and it seems like a good topic for this group. Here’s a link to the podcast, there’s no transcript unfortunately.
The other half of the podcast is a discussion of satisfaction levels from various jobs, and that’s also pretty interesting. The survey they talk about is from 2007 so maybe a little dated, but here are the most and least satisfying jobs.
Painter, Sculptors, Related
Special Education Teachers
Security & Financial Services Salespersons
Laborers, Except Construction
Hand Packers and Packagers
Freight, Stock, & Material Handlers
Apparel Clothing Salespersons
Food Preparers, Misc.
Butchers & Meat Cutters
Furniture/Home Furnishing Salespersons
Let’s do a musical artist draft. We take turns selecting our favorite bands or singers and explain why we like them, and list some of their best songs and albums. You can’t pick someone who has already been taken.
I did this on another forum and it’s a lot of fun, and it gives you some ideas for new music to explore. We did it in a strict draft order but that’s not really feasible here, so just let some other people pick before you pick again.