A Smarter Way to Decide When to Let Go and When to Continue

What happens?

Have you ever been stuck in a situation where you're unsure whether to continue or give up? When you find yourself making no progress or achieving any results, what should you do? You might feel like you're lacking something, but you're not quite sure what it is. You read self-help books, delve into personal development, and seek motivation to keep going on your journey. Yet, somehow, you still find yourself stuck.

Life is a rollercoaster of ups and downs (or as I like to say, mostly downs with a few ups). The key is to remember to get up every time you fall. Today, I want to share a simple analogy that I often use in Training Need Analysis, which can also be applied to personal development. While I'm not the original creator of this concept, I'd love to share how I utilize it in my chart.

When you're feeling stuck, lost, or aimless, whatever term you prefer, try this self-check to gain clarity.


Quadrant 1: Low ability and low passion

If you find yourself in this quadrant, it means you dislike what you're doing and lack the necessary skills. It's a straightforward situation that doesn't require further explanation to understand how challenging it is.

How do I get out of here?

If you're stuck in this quadrant, ask yourself honestly if you have an alternative solution. While it's easy to say, "Find your passion and develop the skills," consider thinking outside the box. Maybe there's another way to approach it. Look for a new solution that aligns with both your passion and your skills.

Quadrant 2: Low ability and high passion

Being stuck doesn't necessarily mean lacking passion for the task. From a different perspective, you may be genuinely excited and committed to it. However, you're facing a roadblock, and as a result, you're not achieving the desired results. You may appear busy, buzzing around like a bee, but over time, due to a lack of skills and results, you might fall back into Quadrant 1.

How do I get out of here?

The solution lies externally. You can't solve your current problem with your current level of knowledge, skills, and habits. You need to acquire new knowledge, skills, and habits from external sources. Fortunately, we live in the 21st century, where information is abundant. Utilize platforms like YouTube (with reliable channels) and online learning platforms such as Udemy, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning (some may require a subscription fee) to expand your knowledge.

Quadrant 3: High ability and high passion

This quadrant is self-explanatory—both elements, ability, and passion, are high. If you find yourself in this situation, you don't need to read further. Simply continue on this path indefinitely.

Quadrant 4: High ability and low passion

This is a dangerous zone, often referred to as "Wasted Talent" or "Wasting Resources." You might find yourself in this quadrant without achieving desired results. We usually say we're demotivated during these moments. The reason is simple: low passion, which leads to demotivation. However, you still possess the skills to complete the task, but you lack the motivation to do so.

How do I get out of here?

Engage in soul-searching. Motivation is an internal process, and passion is long-term motivation. If you have passion for something, it translates into long-term motivation—you keep doing it because you have the passion for it. If you fall into this quadrant, take a break and ask yourself why you started in the first place. What was your initial reason? What rewards or results did you achieve previously? Why do you feel demotivated and lost your passion? Is it a temporary setback or a long-term issue? If you deceive yourself, you're only cheating on your own life. Whenever I find myself in this quadrant, which has happened many times in the past, I take a short break (a week of rest, doing nothing, enjoying life) and then bounce back. I have a strong personality and a laser focus on my personal goals.

If you need further assistance, I recommend starting or taking your Yearly Personal Goal Setting exercise seriously. This practice will help you remind yourself of the reasons behind your goals and keep you motivated to continue.

My thoughts:

Remember, regardless of the quadrant you find yourself in, your journey towards personal growth and fulfilment is within your control. Each quadrant presents its own challenges and opportunities. If you're in Quadrant 1, seek alternative solutions and think outside the box. In Quadrant 2, explore external resources to acquire new knowledge and skills. Quadrant 3 signifies alignment and success, so keep moving forward. Lastly, if you find yourself in Quadrant 4, engage in soul-searching and reignite your passion. Take breaks, reflect on your initial reasons, and rediscover the rewards that await you. Embrace the power within you to make the necessary shifts and keep progressing towards your goals. With determination, resilience, and a commitment to personal growth, you can navigate the quadrants and create a life of purpose and fulfilment.

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