If your mind says you are a quitter …

We all start more things than we complete. When something becomes too demanding or boring or unproductive, or when it seems to require more self-mastery than we possess, we may quit. If we keep quitting repeatedly, we may start labeling ourselves as a quitter. Thereafter, whenever things start becoming tough, a voice may start playing repeatedly in our mind, “You are such a quitter.” 

To challenge that demoralizing voice, we can turn its argument on its head: the problem is not that we are too much of a quitter, but that we are not enough of a quitter. We quit everything except quitting. We don’t have to stop quitting; we need to just use that tendency and direct it toward our tendency to quit. Is this just wordplay? No, it is a provocative reminder that the conditionings we have allowed to define us, don’t actually define us. 

The Bhagavad-gita explains that our conditionings are present in our minds, whereas we are souls who are different from our minds. Our defining identity is not the labels we have assigned ourselves because of our conditionings; our defining identity is that we are souls who are parts of the all-powerful, all-pure supreme, Krishna. 

Instead of obsessing over how often we have quit, we can contemplate,“Krishna has never quit on me; he has always stayed in my heart. Therefore, let me strive to reconnect with him.” Acting according to our spiritual identity, we can refocus on Krishna whenever our mind goes elsewhere, even if it be to the thought that we are a quitter (06.26). By such resolution, we will please Krishna, attract his mercy and thereby silence the mind’s voice. Thus being firmly situated in a mood of service to him, we can resolutely pursue our various aspirations.

One-sentence summary:

If your mind says you are a quitter, be a complete quitter — quit quitting. 

Think it over:

  • How can we counter the mind’s demoralizing voice?
  • How is the call to quit quitting not mere wordplay?
  • How does devotional resolution help us transcend our quitting tendency? 


06.26: From wherever the mind wanders due to its flickering and unsteady nature, one must certainly withdraw it and bring it back under the control of the Self.

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  1. Amazing, especially the one-sentence summary. I dare say, “it takes a thief to catch a thief”.

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  2. Patience is very important in our spiritual journey. We have to weather our setbacks by surrendering to the Lord’s will and keep on doing our part and not attach ourself to the result. For example Jatayu tried his best to fight Ravana even after losing parts of his body. Ultimately the Lord came and gave him the best death possible, leaving the body in the arms of the beloved Lord.

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  3. “Krishna has never quit on me; he has always stayed in my heart. Therefore, let me strive to reconnect with him.”
    Golden statement.
    It gives so much hope when we think that we are hopeless !

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