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If You Don’t Like the Menu, Leave the Restaurant

If You Don't Like the Menu, Leave the Restaurant***

“Don’t settle: Don’t finish bad books. If you don’t like the menu, leave the restaurant. If you’re not on the right path, get off it.” –Chris Brogan

I used to feel obligated to finish bad books or stay in restaurants I didn’t like. Then I adopted Chris’s rule, which I’ve used for years but recently noticed that he phrased more elegantly than me.

If you don’t like a book (including mine or any other), give it 50 pages max. After 50 pages, you know where things are going. Happy? Keep reading. Not into it? Move on.

Could it get better as you go along? Could you be pleasantly surprised at the end? Sure, of course.

But that’s not the point. The point is: don’t worry about the opportunity cost. While you’re slogging through the book you don’t like, or trying to find something that you might be able to eat if you tried really hard, there are plenty of other opportunities elsewhere.

Enacting this practice can be huge! I continue to apply it everywhere I go.

Don’t like the phone call you’re on? Hang up the phone.

Don’t like the schedule you made this week? Change it.

Don’t want to deal with bullshit? Stop dealing with bullshit.

If you want to get on the right path, you first have to get off the wrong one. Don’t be afraid to put that book down, walk out of that restaurant, and find something you like.


Image: Kirberich

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  • Josh says:

    If I was the type of guy who said, “Hallelujah,” I’d say it. Or I’d say, “Amen!”

    But I’m not that type of guy. I’m not even the type of guy who leaves replies on people’s blogs.

    I am the type of guy who needed to hear this though, so I’ll just say that, and thanks!

  • Rob says:

    It took me a while to convince my wife to be comfortable with leaving restaurants where the menu just didn’t interest us or even where the service was way too slow relative to the number of customers.

    Totally agree with you.

  • Alex says:

    I hava a stick at my fridges’s door saying “Say NO when you feel like saying NO. This is life’s greatest time-saver.”

    Even totally agreeing, I’ve got to admit it’s difficult for me to follow this advise.

  • Kenny Laurie says:

    I have always lived by the rule of not finishing a book if you don’t like it. if you read everything worth reading, you’d nothing else. reading is a commitment and just because you feel should read something doesnt mean you should

  • Christy King says:

    Such a great point, and easily used for big decisions as well.

    Don’t like your job? Look for a new more fulfilling one.

    Don’t like living the consumerist/materialistic lifestyle? Don’t. Downsize and stop buying stuff you don’t need or really even want.

  • Rebecca says:

    what a great motto to live by – nicely put

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    This is really a great way to approach life. Our time is precious and shouldn’t be wasted!

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