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“When you start to suck, stop”

Kristen Hersh

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So.

This opening quote is so explanatory it needs no explanation.

However.

What I would suggest to everyone is that, in general, people don’t stop when they start to suck.

And they don’t for one of two reasons:

 

  1. They are oblivious to their sucking.
  2. They recognize their suckedness and begin to do whatever it takes to rise above sucking (only to find out that sucking is like quicksand)

 

Let’s go to # 1 first. Oblivious to sucking.

Unfortunately life doesn’t have stop signs (or any signs for that matter) with regard to sucking. Nor is there a manual you can read. You can pretty much only hope for one of 2 things … either over time you start to recognize your own signs of suckedness or you happen to have a really good friend/co-worker who has a special sign they give you to tell you that you suck (or are starting to suck).

Knowing when you start to suck is difficult.  Really difficult. I think it is easier to recognize when you aren’t sucking.

So what I typically tell people is that when you know you are going good … and on a roll … as quickly as you can find a “period” point. I mean a stopping point (usually characterized by the fact you need to stop talking to actually breathe) … and … well … you stop.

 

Now.

That may be as difficult as stopping when you suck (maybe harder because it is natural to want the goodness (non-suckedness) to go for as long as possible.  But. Stop on a high note. Trust me. If someone really likes it they will ask for more.  If they don’t … well … you did great.  You didn’t suck.

The corollary factoid? Well. If you enter into the suck zone and you stop … well … I can guarantee they won’t ask for more.

It all sounds confusing doesn’t it?

It is.

Especially now as we move to #2.

This is where you actually realize you suck … and then begin paddling as hard as you can to get out of the suck zone.

Oops.

Sucking is like quicksand.  The harder you work to stop sucking the further you get sucked down into suckedness. But, once again, it is natural to try and want to end on a high note so you work to get there. This is human nature to try and get yourself out of trouble once you recognize you are in trouble (insert suck for trouble at any point)

And you shouldn’t.

Stop.

A little suckedness will be recognized as just that … a little. And most people will overlook the little for whatever made up ‘the most.’ But.  A lot of suckedness? It’s … well … a lot.  And difficult to overlook or ignore.

 

Anyway.

Kristen is a musician … but she said something relevant to anyone at any time. It’s her quote but I would change a couple of things to create some advice.

 

“When you think (even an inkling) you are starting to suck, stop.”

 

The corollary?

“When you think it is going good, stop.”

But.

I guess truly the best thought in the end is just where I started … “when you start to suck, stop.”

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Written by Bruce