Knowing when to quitAs I covered in my previous post about retirement, I also wanted to talk about the timing of retirement. Someone said (it's been variably attributed to Gavaskar and Vijay Merchant - so I'll settle for "someone"), the best time to retire is when people ask "why ?" and not "why not ?".
It is very difficult to go out when you are on top. Sometimes, it is nice when you don't have a choice. But, when you do, you want to wait for that "one more" win, "one more" title, "one more championship". And, you get stuck there, till you are forced out.
In this sense, success breeds failure. During my years of work, I watched year after year, CAT after CAT (XAT after XAT, JMET after JMET, whatever) pass me by, and me not able to qualify because of "hectic work". Motivation was wavering, "another exam ?" syndrome rising, and it was appearing like it is time to look at my career and not just my job. And, in my mind, I had decided, if not this time, then never. Imagine my shock to get some 84 percentile in CAT ! Fortunately, I got in to SJMSOM !
As I've mentioned previously, it was very difficult for me to quit Netscaler, even after being selected to SJMSOM. It had almost everything I wanted - a wonderful work environment, amazing team and team-mates, autonomy, creativity, and a lot more things that I seem to forget now. It made my decision to quit all the more difficult. I was stuck with the question "Should I or should I not ?" for a long time. And I decided to bite the bullet - one of the most difficult decisions I had ever made.
One of the most important things that sports teaches is being on top is a temporary phenomenon. If you are on top today, nothing gaurantees that state tomorrow. Just look at Schumacher's performance in 2005 - a single win in Indianapolis Grand Prix against 5 other cars ! That was one of the more important reasons why I quit.
So, I can understand why some people, like a former Indian captain with initials SG refuse to quit. Why someone like Vinod Kambli, whose last claim to cricketing fame was consecutive double centuries against England, and whose last cricketing image is that of a cry-baby after losing the 1996 World Cup semi-finals at Eden Gardens, still believes he can make a come back.
We all want to live in our reflected past glory, don't we ?