The thing about life is that you have infinite do-overs, but you can only quit once.

Lots of things are like that. I know people are often nervous about their performance at their job, for instance, but in most cases, you can try a lot of times before someone fires you. But if you quit, it’s pretty hard to unquit.

It’s not impossible, of course – you can occasionally grovel your way back into a job, romantic relationship, or broken lease. But it’s rare, unpleasant, and in most cases doesn’t last on the second go-around anyway. In most normal situations, once you quit, that’s it.

This awareness should make you both less and more likely to quit something, depending. Most of the time, this awareness should give you the motivation to make at least one more attempt at sticking something out. But if it’s truly horrible, it should make you quit faster – because you realize that most things you do are already “stickier” than you think. Most jobs would prefer not to fire you, even if the fit isn’t great. Most landlords would prefer not to evict you, even if you and the apartment aren’t a great match. Inertia and transaction costs are strong factors in people’s decision-making. Make sure you’re making the best decision, independent of that.

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