Yes Retreat. No Surrender.

Available on the B-side of the old format vinyl of Monty Python’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, is this spoken passage:

The worst part is wondering how you’ll find the strength tomorrow to go on doing what you did today, and have been doing for much too long, where you’ll find the strength for all that stupid running around, those thousand projects that come to nothing, those attempts to escape from crushing necessity, which always flounder and serve only to convince you one more time that destiny is implacable, that every night you down and out, crushed by the dread of more and more sordid and insecure tomorrows…

When you’re burnt out, overwhelmed by the heavy futility of life, and puzzled as to how to bloody succeed at something… well, you honestly want to just give up.

The problem with quitting, is it’s commonly considered a negative course of action. Motivational speakers will rally about embracing failure, that we shouldn’t fear it, or how the process requires having grit and resilience. Pick an inspirational quote; there are lots to choose from…

The ten thousand ways Thomas Edison’s light bulb ideas didn’t work, the numerous prototypes before James Dyson perfected his vacuum cleaner, the repeated attempts to get up after however many times you fall. You can’t quit, because quitting is for losers apparently.

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. So you keep hitting that continue button, in spite of racking up the Game Overs. Then again, insanity is doing the same thing over and over. Like Wile E. Coyote chasing that roadrunner

However, the choice is not about whether one continues or quits. It occurred to me that evil villains have lairs in tropical islands. Yes, ‘there’s no rest for the wicked’, but this isn’t entirely true. When undertaking world domination projects, it’s essential to have a place to hide, to scheme away in secret, or indeed take a vacation.

The origin of the word quit, comes from the Latin quies and quiescere, which means being still and quiet. Early in January, instead of listing resolutions, I attended The Unconventional Retreat.

Time-off going surfing in Morocco renewed my enthusiasm to reboot quests I wanted to abandon. It’s good to stop what’s not working for you, and seek the space to just be for a while. I found that such decisions frequently lead me to thinking about starting afresh, and in this case, further developing Evil Schemes Ltd.


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