Winners Quit All The Time

Recently, I experienced numbness in my arms and some tingling sensation on my fingers.

My first reaction was  – Oh shit, carpal tunnel

I put it off for a few days hoping it would it just go away but it didn’t. I fueled my paranoia further by reading comments on Yahoo Answers.

There was one that said  – It could be stroke. (What a troll)

Needless to say, I had many sleepless nights after that. I thought that if I slept, I would die and not wake up the next day.

So I decided to go see and orthopedic to ease my mind.  Also, I didn’t want to die in such a lame way.

“Oh how did he die?”  Someone would ask.

“Excessive keyboard typing and chronic masturbation. Wrists are very fragile you know.”

It was a Saturday and I arrived 10mins before 9am. I called the night before and was told that they opened at 9am.

Bullshit. When I took my number there were at least 30 people ahead of me waiting.

But thankfully Tung Shin is quite efficient. Chaotic. But they get the job done. There were at least a dozen nurses behind the counter and all of them  fought among themselves to use 3 computers. They also used an old school numbering system where you had to take a physical number card as opposed to the digital numbers you see in banks.

Then I was asked the million dollar question of the day.

“Which doctor do you want? Doctor X has alot of patients today, you need to wait at least an hour plus. Doctor Y only a few”

I went with Doctor Y because I didn’t want wait.  95% of the patients there were for Doctor X.  I am sure both doctors are very capable at what they do. Furthermore it was just a check up.

But I couldn’t help wondering, what was so special about Doctor X? Why did everyone choose him? Was he handsome? Was he cheap? Was he expensive? Could he heal you with just a touch? I was very curious.

And that is when I recalled a book I read some time ago. Seth Godin – The Dip.

In short, it’s a book that teaches you when to quit and when to push through. And WHY being the best in the world is seriously underrated.

Every new project (or career or relationship) starts out exciting and fun. Then it gets harder and less fun, until it hits a lot point-really hard, really not fun. At this point you might be in a Dip, which will get better if you keep pushing, or a Cul-De-Sac, which will never get better no matter how hard you try. The hard part is knowing the difference and acting on it.

Remember this saying? “Quitters never win and winners never quit.”

Well that is bad advice according to Seth Godin. In fact winners quit all the time. They just quit the right stuff at the right time.

There is an example of the top 10 ice cream flavors.  The difference between people favoring vanilla the top ice cream flavor compared to just the second demanded flavor chocolate is almost 4 times the difference.

Time is money. People don’t want to spend a lot of time looking for answers to their needs or problems.  This is why people always look for the best choice. What’s more, they are willing to pay extra for the best.

If you are diagnosed with cancer, you are not going to mess around with alot of doctors. You head straight for the top guy. You ain’t going to screw around if you only get one chance.

Or when you head to a new town or city. You want to go to the best restaurant your concierge or friends can recommend.

There is a shortage of people striving to be the best in what the do. They settle at being mediocre and average. Staying put in their comfort zone. We’ve been taught that fitting in is far better than standing out, and that good enough is good enough.

Being the best has an enormous advantage though you don’t necessary have to be THE BEST IN THE WORLD.

“Best” as in “best for them, right now, based on what they believe and what they know and “in the world” as in “their world, the world they have access to.” 

But getting there is tough. You have to be willing to endure “The Dip”. Here is a better review of the book.

Coming back the Doctor X/Y scenario, it is clear why there one clear favourite. Doctor X must be the best god damn orthopedic out there or at least that is what other patients must be saying about him.

And with that I leave you with a quote by Muhammad Ali –

I hated every minute of training, but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”


  • What did the doctor say?

  • Ben

    He asked me to go easy on Pushmore and to try the medication first. If it still persist then injection.