If any two words should never be aligned in your hearts, it definitely should be “give” and “up.” Every single time these words are merged, they limit your possibilities, undermine how far you’ve gone, and make a mockery of those who have invested their time and resources in your dreams. Despite all that is at stake, you’ll realize you consider giving up because it is the easiest thing to do. It is easier to convince your mind to quit than decide to feed it with much faith to never give up. The latter must be your decision.
From a Sweeper to Edison’s Associate
A 27-year-old man conceived the thought of partnering with the world’s leader of practical technology. His education was not sufficient to earn him such recognition; neither was his financial state. Nonetheless, his thoughts were firm, with definite proof, persistence, and burning desire. In his words, “I will start anywhere. I will do anything Edison tells me to do, but before I am through, I will be his associate.” Edwin Barnes started as a sweeper but ended being an assistant of Thomas Edison because he chose to never give up on his goals.
One of the major reasons you consider giving up on your goal is the inability to fill the gap between your will and the execution. The missing gap between those two terms is discipline. You’d never give up if your focus is on the skills (the means) and not just the outcome. Most people find themselves fantasizing over their goals rather than adjusting their schedules, acquiring the required skill set, building the right mindset, and setting short-term objectives that can present long-term dreams. Well, let’s now consider the reasons you should never give up on your career, marriage and targets.
1. You could be three feet from gold
Here is an analogy from Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich. During the period of the gold-rush, a man set out in search of gold and started digging. After weeks, he was rewarded by the discovery of the shining ore. He covered it and went home to inform his family and neighbors. He got the needed machinery to bring the ore to the surface, and they mined some before the sudden disappearance of the vein of gold ore. They tried digging more but eventually became frustrated. They resorted to selling the machinery to a junkman. The junkman got the machinery and hired a mining engineer to look at the mine. The engineer advised that the project failed because the owners were not familiar with fault lines. The vein could be found just three feet from where they stopped. They’d never give up if they knew how close they were.
You may be one of the people caught in between outright failure and near success. Most would have never given up if they knew how close they were to getting it right or how helpful their failure could have been to greater success. Therefore, ignorance is a major cause of the act of giving up. Many fail to admit how ignorant they are in the particular field they intend to make their mark. They may suddenly feel lost and fail to hold on to their dreams. One of the easiest methods for solving this challenge is joining a mastermind group. Being in a circle of experts in the desired field or simply the more experienced grants you mental courage.
You can also get motivated by their ability to succeed when they are faced with similar challenges that you face. Mastermind group prevents you from becoming complacent and challenges you to stretch yourself the more. In addition, it exposes you to opportunities and grants you access to the greatest ability – the human mind. These available resources could help identify how far you’ve gone; just maybe, you’re closer to your goals than you think. The reason giving up tops your list could be your failure in harnessing the experience and knowledge that surrounds you. You’d never give up if you know how close you are to getting it right.
2. You’re still in control
Walt Disney lost his first film studio in 1920 when his backing firm went broke. He thought he had bounced back when his concept of a famous mouse was accepted. It was accepted after over two hundred rejections from banks. Unfortunately, his employer would eventually steal the idea from him. In summing up his travails, Disney said, “all the adversity I’ve had in my life, all the troubles and obstacles have strengthened me.” You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. You’d never give up if you know the importance of failure to your goals.
In most situations, people give up because the right opportunity didn’t present itself or the right people didn’t just come at the required time. The real problem is in your concept of success. You’re probably thinking of giving up because you feel you’ve lost control over that relationship, and you spend more time wallowing in streams of regrets. The real truth is that you are still in control of that situation. You’ve only lost the aura of possibilities. When you find yourself in this situation, the solution is to never give up. It would be best if you fed your mind with faith and positive affirmations, which are of great relevance.
Numerous cognitive neuroscientists have revealed in their studies that only 5% of our cognitive activities are conscious, while the remaining 95% are generated in a non-conscious manner. The power of the subconscious mind is highly subjective. It depends entirely on the command it receives from the conscious mind. However, the subconscious mind bears the keys to your comfort zones, and over time it becomes a habit. It’s of great necessity to consistently remind yourself that you still hold the keys to your success in that relationship and your career. When you encounter failures, it is your responsibility to keep your dreams alive. And that produces real success. You’d never give up if you realize you “had” control. Recognize it now.
3. The propelling force
Every successful person holds great inspiration – something strong enough to resist complacency. To some, it is the desire to escape poverty. To some, it is the wish to translate their imaginations into reality. For others, it could even be the loss of something or someone valuable that keeps them awake. If you’re yet to find your “why” for being in that relationship, starting that business, pursuing that career path, then it’s okay to take a break and reexamine your propelling factor.
When you are faced with an adverse situation, the worst you could do is trying to attract sympathy or self-pity. To Ashley Fern, “self-pity is a psychological state of mind of an individual in perceived adverse situations who have not accepted the situation and does not have the confidence nor ability to cope with it. It is characterized by a person’s belief that they are the victims of events and therefore deserving of condolence.” Rather than wallow in self-pity, it could be a positive force to channel that energy towards changing that situation. When the going gets tough, the reasons to remind oneself of the propelling force becomes crucial. The thoughts of what is at stake keep you from losing hope in your goal. If your propelling force doesn’t prevent you from giving up, you may need to reexamine the task if it’s really worth your commitment. People run out of sympathy. Focus on your propelling force. You’d never give up if your level of motivation matches your task.
4. Don’t forget the last time you won!
Jane’s teachers were already getting frustrated. They have tried several methods in helping her excel in her academics. The only reason they’d never give up was the principal, who was resolute in finding what would work. For Jane, the passion was there, the desire to become a successful lawyer had not completely eluded her, but her performances were frustrating. Yet her vow to never give up was enough to sustain her. The principal decided to seek the help of a psychologist. Having explained every method he had tried to the psychologist, the psychologist replied, “Have you given her a taste of victory?” The principal called Jane and explained a mathematics assignment to her. The principal then instructed the mathematics teacher to assess the class with that exact question. The mathematics teacher did exactly as instructed. Jane was the only person to get the question right. This time, the teacher brought her to the front, and she was celebrated by her peers, who were shocked about her victory. This moment transformed her career. Ever since she never forgot what it feels like to be celebrated. She would end up becoming the number one student in the country’s law school exam. Jane had tasted victory, and she was ready for more recognitions. You may never give up if you understand the power of victory.
A good number of people are so obsessed with the big goals and huge dreams that they forget to celebrate their little successes. In achieving the big goal, it’s important you break it down into smaller goals and work towards achieving them daily. By meeting the small targets, you should celebrate your steps towards the big goals. This often underestimated strategy could prevent you from giving up. Remember the last time you achieved that victory; treasure the moments of your little wins, and they’ll create momentum for the bigger victory. The importance of that momentum is that it prevents you from being frustrated. People who have been frustrated for a long time end up giving up on their goals and targets. Asked about how important celebrating his early victories is, Pep Guardiola, a highly successful football coach, replied, “the first ones are special because at first, you don’t know if you are able to do it.” The memories of victories are the biggest inspirations for some. They don’t want to lose touch with it. If there was a reason why some people gave up, it could be that they downplayed their little successes and ended up being frustrated. Celebrate your wins but don’t get so distracted from the main goal. You’d never give up if you often recount the thoughts of your past victories.
5. Remember Fantrau’s assist
I have to thank my friend Albert Fantrau for my success. We played together for the same team in the U18 championship. When a scout came to see us, he said that whoever scores the highest number of goals would come into our academy. We won that match 3-0. I scored the first goal, then Albert scored the second with a powerful header. But the third goal was impressive. Albert was one-on-one against the goalkeeper. He rounded the goalkeeper, and I was running in front of him. All he had to do was to score that goal, but he passed it to me, and I scored the third goal. So I got that spot and went to the academy. Cristiano Ronaldo narrated his experience to the media. He would go on to be one of the greatest footballers of all time. Albert Fantrau sacrificed his career for his friend. Cristiano Ronaldo would never give up; he never forgot Fantrau’s assist.
A similar situation is what we all encounter in our various lives. Your opportunities could be attributed to the sacrifices of other people. Giving up isn’t just about yourself or your own efforts; it indirectly makes a mockery of other people’s belief in your goals and abilities. Every time you are faced with a difficult situation that challenges your convictions and determinations, other people’s efforts and sacrifices may be the least of your considerations. This mindset shows just how much we love to attribute our success to our abilities. Your life and commitments aren’t just your responsibilities alone; it is also what other people consider as an investment. To give up is to waste an opportunity that could have transformed another person’s life. To quit is to send Albert Fantrau into oblivion. When next you are faced with a difficult situation that you consider giving up on, please don’t underestimate the inspiration you could get from carefully analyzing the impact of friends, families, colleagues, or associates on how you made it thus far. You’d never give up if you understand it’s not a loss on your path alone. It’s an act of cowardice that closes the gates to future opportunities.
6. The Bull Moose Energy
“Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot, but it takes more than that to kill a bull moose.” Against the advice of his medical team, Theodore Roosevelt never gives up on his 90 minutes speech plan. He will go on to deliver a 90-minute speech with a bullet in his ribs for his campaign against his former protégé, William Howard Taft.
The human mind, with all its great achievements, has consistently failed in capturing the strength of individuals. As Arnold Schwarzenegger observed, “our struggles develop our strengths.” Before his speech in 1912 when he was shot, Roosevelt had survived debilitating asthma as a young child, he had also survived the trauma of losing his wife and his mother within 24 hours. Undoubtedly, his “bull moose” strength was a product of his previous challenges.
In life, we often forget about our previous challenges and how we handled them when we are faced with a new one. Though every challenge comes with its own uniqueness, no single challenge has happened to one person that has never been faced and survived by another. If you really want to stay relevant, it is important not to downplay your strength or play the victim and give up. The easiest option, when faced with challenges, is to convince yourself about the magnitude and the uniqueness of that challenge and accept the fact that it’s bigger than what you can handle. You’d never give up if you understand that the strength of your convictions influences your actions in your day-to-day activities. Your short-term results are products of not just your plans and actions but also your beliefs and convictions. When you face a challenge that threatens your continuity, draw strengths from your faith. Be flexible with your approach, and never consider giving up as an option. Most importantly, don’t overestimate your challenges to attract pity. Focus on your strengths, and give full attention to the problems. In addition, it is very okay to request people’s assistance when you feel lost. Please don’t feed your ego with the thought that you can do it all by yourself. Successful people seek help too. One of the reasons you should never give up is the reasoning that there is a solution to every challenge, except you chose to be a part of those who’ve told themselves long enough that the solutions to their problems are out of reach. One of our biggest strengths is our ability to recognize the fact that the resources around us are enough to solve our problems irrespective of their magnitude. In the end, it takes a resolute mind to achieve a dream; the majority never gets beyond the wishing stage. You’d never give up if you realize that your strength is only limited by your knowledge of it.
7. Ignore the third option
“Caesar had long wished to conquer the British. He quietly sailed his soldier-laden ships to the British island, unloaded his troops and supplies, then gave the order to burn all the ships. Calling his soldiers about him, he said,” now it is win or perish. We have no choice.” Caesar realized they’d never give up, knowing there was no other option. Everyone gave their all, and it was a victory for Caesar. You’d never give up if you know you had nothing to fall to. You simply silenced the voice telling you to never give up because you had an eye on the third option.
The third option is always not as nice as it presents itself. The reason you ignored the advice to never give up on that relationship was that you had an alternative waiting. You’d never give up if that were the only option you had. Most people became cynical about relationships because they spent their time hoping an angel was an available option. Others went bankrupt because they thought the third option was a decent idea.
Flexibility in itself is a good approach to life, but the third option often fails. And when it does, most people give up. You’d never give up if you narrow down your alternatives. You have nowhere to fall except ground zero. You’d never give up if you fail to play it safe with a backup plan. You’d never give up because you believe so much in that dream that you kept the third option away.
Most people underestimate the impact of their lives on other people. Someone is getting motivated by your strength. You’d never give up if you realize how much your victory over your previous challenges motivated someone. Someone inspires other people not to give up and cited you as a perfect example. Giving up is collateral damage; another person’s confidence is at stake. By going through the outlined reasons, you find sufficient reasons to hold on because you really don’t want to give up. In the end, persistence always produces opportunities. You’d never give up if you realize that you’re the only hope of another person. You’ll fill your heart with so much positivity that you’d never give up if you realize how these principles were effective.