The story of successful people, wherever they may be found –professional athletes, entrepreneurs, investors, or success in any kind of endeavor is at first a story of people’s accomplishments. But it is also a story of something else – the story of people who wouldn’t quit.
It’s been wisely written that success in life is a matter not so much of talent or opportunity as of concentration and perseverance. And that is its essence.
No one escapes life without their share of adversity. Every person has reached a point in his life when he wanted something very badly, but he was discouraged and ready to quit. We’ve all had things we strongly desired, but we’ve all failed in reaching some of those goals. When you’re faced with the choice between continuing to fight a “hopeless” battle or allowing yourself the relief of giving up, how do you choose?
Premature eye drying syndrome
I’ve been there and most likely you have been there but there is a difference between wanting to quit and actually quitting.
I believe there are five reasons why people quit.
- They really didn’t want what they were going after in the first place.
- They thought it would be easier and without effort and sacrifice.
- They lost belief in themselves.
- They preferred the certainty of quitting to the uncertainty of continuing to fight.
- They let someone else discourage them or talk them out of going after their dreams.
But here’s the thing about quitting – You would be amazed at how many people quit just before they are about to achieve the success they have been working toward so diligently and for so long. They just get tired of waiting, trying or dreaming and give up. Or as I like to say, they dry their eyes prematurely. In the middle of the struggle, they wipe the tears from their eyes, quit and then head back to the starting line.
Every day of the week, there must be thousands who turn away in defeat, and who will never know the great joys of accomplishment and success, because they quit too soon. Who can say how close they may have come? Maybe one more day, or even an hour, could have meant the difference. They can be compared to someone who drops out of high school. They’ll never know the abundance that could have been theirs if they’d just stayed with it a little longer.
Do you have a plan that fails to recognize failure?
In his influential early 20th century success guide, “Think and Grow Rich,” Napoleon Hill wrote something that struck a nerve with me early-on in my journey to success. Back then, when I became discouraged I would read it again and again, and remind myself to keep fighting:
“Wishing will not bring riches. But desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure, will bring riches.” [Emphasis mine]
Those words stopped me a number of times when I wanted to quit. And here’s something else about not quitting – I got stronger each time I didn’t quit. Each time I continued fighting, I got a little more assurance that I could hold out and achieve the things I wanted to achieve. Not quitting builds resilience.
Is there an area in your life today where you are wavering? Thinking about giving up?
I don’t know what your dreams are. I don’t know what obstacles you face in achieving what you want. I do know that big dreams are usually accompanied by even bigger obstacles. And those obstacles will give you every reason in the book to quit. They’ll give you every reason to throw in the towel, to the point where it’s almost irrational to not quit.
But I’ll tell you what I know from experience…
If you want something, keep fighting for it. If you truly ache for something — and know in your heart that it’s what is right for you — keep fighting. Don’t give quitting an audience inside your brain. Become irrational about quitting.
No one can determine another person’s limits of endurance or courage. No one can judge what another person is willing or not willing to do. Never let anyone talk you out of your dream, no matter how well meaning they might appear.
Go for it. Keep at it. Just do it and enjoy the process. Don’t expect there will be a crowd cheering you on. Much of success is enjoyed in quiet solitude one moment at a time.
In my first podcast, I said that if you want the results, you must also want the sacrifice that must be paid for the results. You must fall in love with the process as much as the goal. Indeed, the pleasure of a thing done is in the doing.
Know this: The tragic lives are those lived by people who don’t desire anything badly enough to have faith that the difficulties along the way can be used to make them stronger. The tragic lives are those of people who aren’t willing to work for success, who make the choice to give up and quit.
So, don’t give up just because you’re tired and yearning for something easier to do. Don’t betray yourself. Go back to your reason “why”. Know that it must be bigger than your biggest reason to quit. Show persistence. Don’t dry your eyes prematurely and limp back to the starting line.
As Hill said, make your plans whereby they don’t recognize failure. Ignore failure. Keep fighting. Persist until you win.
Anything less is a betrayal of something very important. It’s a betrayal of you.
Be free. Nothing else is worth it.
Want even more reasons to not quit and persevere until your reach your goals? Check-out these other articles from the blog archives: