“When things go wrong, don’t go with them.”
— Elvis Presley
The one main reason so many people don’t reach their goals, never realize their dreams, don’t get what they want, and don’t get to where they want to go is because they give up too soon. And let’s face it, there are probably one or two or several things we have given up on at one point or another in our lives. The reason we give up isn’t nearly as important as the fact that we just give up.
Giving up comes with a series of problems. First, if you start giving up on one thing you set the precedence to keep on giving up on everything else that doesn’t come to you the first time or when you don’t get your way. Second, giving up gives you the feeling of being a loser. And the more you feel like you’re losing, the more you actually do. It’s harder to recover when you’re already in a defeatist mental and emotional state.
We often disguise giving up as ‘oh, it just wasn’t for me’ or ‘someone else can do it better’ or ‘maybe I need to take a different path.’ While this may be true, take a minute to evaluate these statements and see truly where your reality measures up to these excuses. Because, well, these are basically excuses that we tell ourselves when we really just need to work harder or start over.
For example, you failed physics as a sophomore and so you gave up on college altogether. The first business you started failed so you gave up on your dream of being an entrepreneur. The first book you wrote was rejected by every literary agent you went to so you decided to self publish and didn’t sell more than ten copies so you stop writing. Better educational or career opportunities wait for you three states away from home. You’ve already gotten the position or landed in the program but because your friends and family can’t see the same vision you see, you give in to them and give up on your goals.
These are just some examples but it could be anything. Many ideas are left uncultivated and many more dreams are left unrealized not because they couldn’t be done but because the person who was supposed to be doing them gave up too soon. They took their marbles and ran. They threw the baby out with the bathe water. They called in sick and then stayed home forever.
This all is a result of one simple reason: You didn’t get what you wanted at the precise time you wanted it and so you gave up on it completely.
Giving up is a serious character flaw. It is an error in judgment. It’s an exercise in attempting immediate gratification which never offers what you’re really looking for. Everything worth obtaining is going to take time. And time requires patience, perseverance, flexibility, and adaptability. These are some of the most important skills to have when you are trying to reach your goals. Things may not happen exactly the way you want them to happen on your way to get to where you have to go. But that’s not the point. The point is that you get there.
It doesn’t really matter that you lost your house or job or best friend in the process. It doesn’t matter that you got stuck in the snow or had to take a break because of the heat. It doesn’t matter that no one helped you or no one gave you credit. It doesn’t matter that the path was covered in debris and trash and rubble for years. None of this really matter because it is not an excuse for you to give up. These are events and experiences which are all part of the process and the journey. It all helps to make you who you are and shapes you into who you can become.
Faith is a prerequisite for perseverance. No, seriously, you have to believe that you’re headed in the right direction. And you’re not always going to feel like you are. When everything seems to be caving in at once and as they say, if it’s not one thing, it’s another, you’re going to rethink whether you’re making the right decisions. But external events do not dictate future success. Very often, the worst becomes before the best. You won’t reach the clearing until you pass through the forest.
Like everything else in life, there is no magic pill or potion to help you stop giving up. It requires a choice. It demands that we choose it. Giving up is always the easy way out and you can be sure that no dreams are realized on the side of ease. It’s a hard fought battle because that’s how life is. You will fail, but you must not quit. Let it be said that you can lose everything in life except for the will to fulfill your purpose and find what you desire. Let it be said that if you die before you arrive, you did it on the way to your destination, not by giving up.
“The worst thing one can do is not to try, to be aware of what one wants and not give in to it, to spend years in silent hurt wondering if something could have materialized – never knowing.”
— Jim Rohn