3 Life Lessons Learned From Quitting

Every once in a while, I question my decision to leave the teaching profession and start a small publishing company to produce my work. It has taught me a few lessons, such as. . .

1. Obedience or disobedience is always a decision. I had to be called by God to leave, and even then, I wavered before handing in my resignation letter. I could have stayed, but my experience would have been like that of Jonah. I still would have had to leave; either I would go willingly or be pushed out of the proverbial boat.

2. You CANNOT put a price on piece of mind. I used to own an investment property in upstate New York. When I moved in, there were tenants on the second and third floors — this was guaranteed monthly income. But, the second floor tenant was elderly, sick, and set in her ways. I believe God told me to release her from her lease, but I kept her instead. For the next six months, she battled me on several fronts and even had a lawyer draft a letter telling me what she would and would not do as my tenant. A mountain of legal fees later, I did not renew her lease when it expired. Lesson learned.

This lesson comes to mind when I remember the “good old days”: where I worked for a month and received a paycheck I could count on being the exact same amount each month down to the cent (before the days of penny-pinching politicians and furlough days, that is). This past school year, I found out that I was growing to dislike teaching. Walk down the halls of a school, and you can tell which teachers are staying there for a paycheck.

3. Working at a job that is not part of your divine calling is a waste of time. My calling was always to write. It is a desire I have had since childhood, and it is not that way of my own design. I meet people all the time who express interest in writing a book. If that desire is gnawing at you, then what is keeping you from satisfying it? Before I left my teaching job, writing was a sacrifice. It meant spending a little less time with my wife and daughter some days. It meant a little less sleep sometimes. Maybe I shunned social networking and social phone calls for a bit. The adjustment was temporary. Mark Victor Henson, the co-author of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series, challenged me to write at least 200 words each day, which is less than a full page. 200 words X 7 days = 1,400 words per week. 1,400 words per week X 52 weeks = 72,800 words: which is roughly a 270-290 page trade paperback. And you didn’t even have to quit your day job to do it.

My calling is also to teach. So, as you are now part of my virtual classroom, did you learn anything? 🙂 Be blessed!


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