From time to time, I have referenced this 10+ year old article from the NY Times, called THE JOY OF QUITTING, written by Michael Lewis.
It is an important reminder that sometimes staying in a situation that has become stagnant or run out of energy is not the healthy thing to do.
Now, my love for this article, even over a decade later, might seem odd to most people who know me and have heard me say quite often that to bring what you desire in life to yourself, you have to persevere and do whatever it takes, twenty-four seven, until you're on top of the mountain and in your "Zone of Genius," as Gay Hendricks puts it in his book, THE BIG LEAP. But Michael Lewis makes the counterpoint that "finishing what you started is a useful course of action only if what you started is worth finishing."
Some things run their course - a job, a relationship, an artistic endeavor - and other things can be outgrown - a home or geographic location, a habit or hobby, etc. And sometimes, you can do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, only to discover that the process itself turns out to be the end in itself and the outcome once pursued is no longer desired after all, or possible.
Finally, there is the value of "good endings." Most people wait so long and don't leave ungratifying situations until their level of anger and frustration are so high and their level of performance so low that after all that time and effort, the ending turns out to be a debacle instead of a moment of final integration and appreciation. Indeed, leaving a situation in good standing, at the right time can be like graduating, instead of like failing.
When we stay too long, we run the risk of encountering our own "PETER PRINCIPLE," formulated by Dr. Laurence J. Peter, in his book by the same name. The Peter Principle states that: "In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence." What he was referring to was the reality that in bureaucracies, people continue to receive promotions for being competent at their job until they reach a level where they are no longer competent, and so are no longer promoted. Ouch! That explains a lot, doesn't it?!
It takes self-knowledge and self-honesty to know when it's time to move on. And courage. And love. As I wrote once in a post about the Beatles, appropriately called "LET IT BE,"and how I came to understand their need to break up as a band in order to grow and take "the love they made" with them, sometimes it paradoxically takes an ending to discover the love inside of you that you have for something or someone.