Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash

In the US, there’s a huge emphasis on putting in a ton of work to eventually score a win. However, sometimes the work you have to put in is just not worth the effort. But how do you know when to call it quits? By knowing what you value, that’s how.

Whether you’re running your own business, working toward earning a graduate degree, raising a family, or selling a home you’ve lived in all of your adult life, sometimes it can seem as if the work you have to put in is just not worth the eventual win.

What Is Your Goal?

This victory you’re after might be a small one, such as doing really well in a particular athletic event. Or it could be something genuinely universal in scale, like leaving the world a better place for your children and grandchildren.

The notion of someone tinkering around to create the next big invention is inspiring to people. The thought of someone toiling away on a laptop to write the great American novel is equally uplifting.

Starting a business is the same. Sometimes the windfall at the end justifies all of the fear and uncertainty. All of the doors slammed in your face become worth it. You learn to live with all of the hardships and the long hours of work in light of your goal.

Are You the Captain of Your Ship?

Of course, this can also equally apply when it comes to owning and selling real estate. When you have a home, you’re an entrepreneur in a sense. This true whether you’re trying to fix up the place so you can rent it out, or you want to flip it to a buyer for a big profit.

However, even if all you do is live in the home, you’re basically the CEO of that house. You’re the captain of a ship. Therefore, it’s up to you to ensure that all of the ship’s systems continue working reasonably well. Of course, sometimes you have to face the fact that the amount of work you are putting in is just not worth the reward you are likely to receive.


What Do You Value?

Everyone has their own ideas about what’s valuable and what’s not. What do you value?


For most folks, there is value in the notion that their life is going to improve somehow if they can achieve the goal they’re working toward. Moreover, a person’s concept of value can change over their lifetime. For example, many people value the work they do on a daily basis. However, as they approach retirement age, those values change.


For others, value just represents money. Apparently, this is true to a certain extent. For example, one study showed that when a person has about $95,000 a year, they feel satisfied with their life. Also, they feel happier on a daily basis.

In any case, having a sufficient amount of money to accomplish the goals they set out for themselves is a powerful motivating force for many people. Quite likely, it can even motivate a person to continue working at a job they don’t like while they look for something else.


Of course, time is something many people value more than anything. After all, there’s only so much time in a day. Moreover, every person has only a fixed number of days available to them in their lifetime.

The folks who value time above all else might say they live by one of the quotes attributed to Benjamin Franklin: “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”

Emotional Well-Being

Still others have learned to value their emotional well-being over almost everything else. After all, when you’re in a good place emotionally, you’re able to consider things in a rational way. You’re also able to keep going during the times when you’re under some challenge or in other less-than-perfect situations.

Emotional resilience is often a matter of being able to keep cool under pressure. This can be true whether you’re at work, at home, or just living life in general. However, everyone will eventually reach their limit if there’s enough pressure on them.

People who value their emotional well-being over money have learned that a lower-pressure situation is more valuable to them than money. These are the people who will carefully consider a job offer or a working arrangement, for instance, in terms of the level of stress they believe they will encounter there, regardless of whether it’s a high-paying position or not.

Have You Dealt with the Work of Running a Home?

If you’ve ever run a household before, you know that takes a lot of work. There are a lot of things you need to do properly. For example, you need to check every system every so often, just to make sure it’s working properly.

Also, you need to be sure you’re responsibly handling situations that come up, as they come up. If you don’t, for whatever reason, this is going to come back to bite you at some point in the future. This can impose a lot of pressure on a person.

For some people, the work of it gets even worse as time goes on. Perhaps you inherited a house that’s simply not the kind of home you really want for yourself. Or, perhaps your house isn’t located in the neighborhood where you want to live.

Maybe your single life has turned into married life, and married life has become parenting life. For you, it might be time to buy a bigger house.

On the other hand, you could be at a completely different point in your life. For you, it might be time to consider just selling your house in as-is condition for a reasonable price. Then you can move on with your life into something a bit simpler for you.

Making It Work for You

There are going to be naysayers no matter what you end up doing. This is just a fact of life. Whether you sell your home in the quickest and easiest way possible, or you hold out for a bigger windfall, someone is going to find a way to talk trash about the way you worked the deal.

However, there’s a good chance that as your life moves on, you’re not going to care all that much about what the naysayers said about your choices. And this is true even if your choice is motivated entirely by how much you value your own emotional well-being.