Derek Sivers

from the book “”:

Quitting something you love


Personal change needs some space to happen. To bring something new into your life, you need somewhere to put it. If your current habits are filling your day, where are these new habits supposed to go?

The English word “quit” comes from old French meaning “to free” or “to release”.

We know about quitting something that’s bad for you, or something you hate. But what about quitting something you love?

I rebel against anything that feels like addiction. When I hear myself saying “I need this”, I want to challenge that dependency and prove my independence.

It’s usually something tiny. I always kept mints in the car. One day when I ran out, I thought, “Oh no! I need more!” But as soon as I felt that need, no — time to quit. No mints in the car since that day.

Sometimes it’s something big. I used to have an awesome job. I loved it so much that I became too comfortable. So I made myself quit. That made me figure out how to be a full-time musician.

In 2010, I felt addicted to America. It was my comfort zone. I loved it too much. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. So I made myself quit. I haven’t lived there since 2010, and probably never will again. People often ask if I miss it. Any regrets? Not at all.

I still love everything I quit. But not as much as I love all this room for change.

If you think this sounds horrible, congratulations! I’m thankful for people like you. I’m glad AC/DC played the exact same music for over 40 years, without quitting, but that would be hell for me.