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Keep Going Through the Dip to Become Number One, But Quit If Results Aren't Ever Going to Improve
on May 10, 2007
Do you remember starting something new that interested you? Chances are the world seemed a little brighter, a little more inviting, and your smile was a little wider that day.
Now, remember how that same activity seemed after six months had passed. It's likely you weren't having as much fun; progress was hard to accomplish; and frustration was starting to build. That's what a dip feels like.
That sequence is the normal experience and psychology of creating worthwhile results.
But in some cases, you are headed for a dead end where results will never amount to much (if you ever see me play golf, you'll know what I'm talking about). In rarer cases, results just keep going downhill forever (if you've seen me run lately, you'll get the idea).
Many people make mistakes when "the going gets tough."
1. Some will keep going even though future results won't reward the effort (such as those who keep trying to master something for which they have little ability). This behavior is usually the result of bad habits (like always following tradition . . . or existing beliefs) I call "stalls" that harm progress.
2. Others will quit before they break through into improvements that make an enormous difference (going through a dip) and miss the chance to get great benefits from continuing, well-focused effort. The "best in the world" (or "best in your corner of the world") will get a disproportionate share of the benefits from what everyone does. Who is going to pay much attention to the 1,000,001 ranked book reviewer on Amazon? People who behave this way are usually suffering from the procrastination, bureaucracy, ugly duckling or disbelief stalls (see The 2,000 Percent Solution).
In past books by Mr. Godin, I've criticized him for taking an article and stretching it too far into a book. I've also mentioned that he sometimes forgets to explain what to do.
In The Dip, Mr. Godin has broken through his dip and avoided both of those problems. This book is only slightly longer than it needed to be. It has excellent advice on how to tell the difference between future potential and lack of opportunity. The point about disproportionate rewards is also well developed.
Nice going, Mr. Godin!