The Dip

The Dip’, introduced by motivational writer Seth Godin, in his book by the same name, is a concept about quitting and success.

You might be wondering how quitting is related to success. Success, indeed, involves quitting. The difference is that successful people know when to quit and when to stick. This might be a bit tricky. Sometimes, people celebrate too soon, and sometimes, they don’t cherish what they have. It’s like that weird confusion when you are going on a vacation and have covered half the distance but now the initial excitement has settled in and the reward is still a long distance away.


We will take a different approach towards the Dip. It consists of 3 curves. Let X axis be the effort and Y axis be the reward


  1. The Straight y=x Case: The case where you put in effort and reward grows accordingly. Many people are convinced that this is how life works. Spoiler Alert: It doesn’t! It might seem like an ideal case, but this is the rarest life graph ever. Instead, it wouldn’t be wrong to call it too good to be true                                          
  2. The Gradual y=x2 Case: The case where you must put in some effort at the beginning with slow reward but once you have put in some amount of effort, the rewards multiply and then it’s unstoppable. This case is what many motivational speakers like to pitch as the reality. They are true to some extent, but they fail to give the right information. This case is very close to the ideal case but has the most vital element missing.
  3. The Dip Curve: This is what most success stories look like. You put in some effort with no reward at all, then the reward comes in, it motivates you to move forward but then the reward fades away, you hit a decline, you start feeling lost and hopeless. This is called the Dip.

Now STOP and think what you would do if you hit the Dip? Give Up? Or Carry On?


No answer is correct. It totally depends on the situation. Ask yourself, why did the dip occur? Was it something outside of your control or were you the reason it happened? Let’s understand this with a personal example.


In Grade 10, I decided to publish a series of horror short stories I had written as a hobby. The day it went on sale on Amazon, I sold 100 copies in 24 hours. I was taken bamboozled: I had not advertised, I was no famous person and I didn’t really think it was my best work, I was saving good ones for later. I was just testing the waters. The second day was no different, I again sold over 100 copies. I told myself, this is momentous, only to find out that I sold 20 copies on the third day.


I was lost, I didn’t know what had happened. Are the reviews bad? Are people saying bad things about it? I decided to ask for reviews, I sent free copies to friends, relatives and teachers. Everyone praised it, they loved it for the fast-paced nature. I couldn’t break down what was happening. The worst was yet to come, I didn’t sell a single copy for the next 4 days. I had lost all hope on myself. Then I sat down and gave myself a talk.


At that moment, I realized that in this situation, it was not my mistake. My content was good, and my medium was apt. But, I realized my content wasn’t universal. Horror is not everyone’s cup of tea. I worked and made the sequel a thriller and it got amazing pre-order numbers and showed consistent sales. I realized that if I had quitted, I wouldn’t have improved myself.


Thus, if you know you have put in your best effort and still, something went south. Then it wasn’t your fault. Don’t give up. Try harder, because the graph will rise again.


If you think you can make changes for the better, find your mistakes and missteps and make corrections and pivot. Even if you think, it’s time to give up because you don’t feel motivated about it, it’s completely alright. Just trust your instinct and do what you love, the reward will come around.


The GenZ Soul is a written motivational series, written by Ritwik Dhandhi, that introduces new ideas to tackle problems commonly faced by this generation.

Stay Tuned for Episode 2 –  Are you a Master Procrastinator?

To read: The Magic of the Sticky Note!

5 thoughts on “When to Quit and When to Stick? – The Dip”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *