A brief, practical summary of Mastering the Art of Quitting by Peg Streep & Alan Bernstein

Note: The new paperback edition of this book is published under a new title “Quitting: Why We Fear It—and Why We Shouldn’t—in Life, Love, and Work”

The Big Idea

Learning the art of quitting with mastery—or, as the authors describe it at one point, how to “bail with greater intelligence”—is a necessary but underrated component of reaching our goals and living life with satisfaction.

The Tiny Summary

Because of long-standing biological and cultural influences, our default is to persist with our goals and avoid quitting at all costs. And while certain forms of reactive, emotionally-driven quitting are unhelpful, intelligent, proactive quitting is actually a key ingredient for long-term success and happiness. Strategic quitting not only helps us avoid the emotional misery of chasing after unreachable goals, but it also helps us to identify and commit to newer and better goals—hence, the importance of mastering the art of quitting.

Core Ideas and Techniques

Selected Quotes

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Timely – thank you. I recently quit (though not so artfully) my position within an organization that I helped found a number of years ago. I am feeling the loss emotionally, but am peacefully aware that my involvement there was not serving my life & family needs overall. I’m excited to start clarifying & tackling some new goals in this next season!

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