The Dip: How are you Handling Your Biggest Challenge?
Quitters do win.
Godin takes it one step further. The Dip explains not only how quitters win, but also how strategic quitting is necessary to take advantage of your full potential in life. The Dip is a remarkable book because it teaches how to recognize the signs of a job worth quitting. All it takes is a little education, a bit of foresight, and the guts to make a move.
What is It?
When you read The Dip, you will think about your own life and your own career. Here’s how Godin describes the Dip:
The Dip is the long slog between starting and mastery. A long slog that’s actually a shortcut, because it gets you where you want to go faster than any other path. The Dip is the combination of bureaucracy and busy work you must deal with in order to get certified in scuba diving. The Dip is the difference between the easy “beginner” technique and the more useful “expert” approach in skiing or fashion design. The Dip is the long stretch between beginner’s luck and real accomplishment. The Dip is the set of artificial screens set up to keep people like you out.¹
I thought about how the Dip might apply to military service members. The military lifestyle is unique in many ways:
- As soon as you master your craft, you’re given a different job.
- As soon as you are established in your environment, you must move.
- As soon as your planning is complete, you must change the plan.
The Military Dip
The miliatry has little dips and big dips. Little dips may be difficult training, special qualifications, or short dwell times between deployments. A big dip may be the 20 year requirement for retirement (with some exceptions). The situation will be different for every individual. The concept of the Dip assumes something bigger and better waiting for you once you’ve slogged your way through it. Some military specialties transfer better into the civilian world than others.
What Do You Seek?
But the decision to quit or slog though the Dip requires understanding your ultimate aim.
- Is it money?
- Is it transferable skills?
- Is it a desire to serve?
But there’s nothing better than strangers thanking you for your service.
And it happens. A lot.
It will be hard to find something better than that.
¹ Seth Godin, The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) (New York: Penguin, 2007), Kindle ed., 17-18.
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About Jason B. Ladd
Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of seven. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His award-winning book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview has been optioned for film adaptation. He is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.