Pop Quiz – how many times would you let a toddler fall over before you tell them they should give up trying to walk? 10? 100? 1,000?
Hopefully we’re on the same page here and you answered something like NEVER! You encourage them to keep trying and never give up UNTIL they succeed. Walking, talking, reading – even the more technical stuff like tying shoelaces and riding a bike.
So what happens when you get older? You try to get a job, start a business, find a lasting relationship, lose weight, get fit. You try, you fall over a couple of times, and suddenly you start thinking about giving up.
Why? What the hell happened there? It makes no sense.
Not that I’m completely against giving up. I highly recommend it some cases. Answer yes to any of these three and you absolutely should give them up, right now:
Is it an addiction?
Addictions don’t serve you – they mask your emotions, and feeling is where your LIFE is. Don’t miss it!
If you can drink or smoke socially or have one coffee in the morning but not be bothered if you miss it – good on ya. For the rest of us…
And for sure addictions to exercise and work will look and pay better, but they’re still not healthy.
Imagine giving your habit up for 30 days….. If your head fills with fear or excuses then it’s got its hooks in you. Do yourself a favor – give that shit up.
Have you stopped enjoying it? Or did you never enjoy it?
Now don’t be a dick about this. If you let trash pile up around your house because you don’t enjoy taking it out – well that’s just dumb. Focus on the fact that you do enjoy having a clean house.
But if you’re doing a job you hate, just for the money. Quit. Do something else. As Gary Vaynerchuk puts it: There’s no reason do shit you hate. NONE.
Same applies to relationships, business ventures, hobbies, diets… Life is short – what are you doing with yours? If you don’t enjoy it, let it go, let it go….
Are you complaining?
Seriously? Of all the things in life you need to give up, complaining is public enemy number one.
Nobody wants to hear you whining about how terrible things are so shut the fuck up.
Good, so you’ll want to know what you should do instead. Here’s an idea – learn to ask good questions, like:
“How could this be better so I don’t have this poor experience?”
And better, but more challenging:
“How could I be better so I don’t have this poor experience?”
Right, now that’s clear, let’s move on to the real story of why you should never give up.
Dreams – don’t let them die
Everyone has dreams – a dream job, a dream house, dreams of travelling the world, creating a community, making a difference. And most people succumb, at an alarmingly early age, to the common ‘wisdom’ that you need to settle down and be reasonable.
Don’t do that!
Be practical, but not reasonable
You may dream of being the President of the USA. And if you weren’t born American that might not be a practical idea – you need to adjust your aspirations.
Or maybe you dream of climbing Everest – certainly not a reasonable thing to do, but it is attainable. You just need to learn how – prepare and practice.
The best inventions and most incredible achievements are always the result of unreasonable people refusing to give up on their dreams – be unreasonable!
Consider the Essence
If you dream of being an astronaut you’ve found something that, for most people, isn’t practical or reasonable. And you still shouldn’t give up on it. Instead consider the essence of what you desire.
Do you want to feel the effect of zero gravity? Is it the idea of seeing the full globe of the Earth against the blackness of space that excites you?
With the advance being made by projects like SpaceX both of those could be available and entirely practical well within your lifetime. You might not technically be an astronaut, but you do get to make your dream come true.
What is it about your dream that really excites you – what’s the essence? When you stop being so attached to the specific form that it takes, you may well be surprised at how quickly it shows up in your life. The Universe does indeed work in mysterious ways.
Take care of your dreams
Be careful who you share your dreams with. There are plenty of people in the world, often the same ones who haven’t yet got the message about complaining, who will give you all the reasons why you should give up on your dreams.
They’ll tell you to be reasonable, get your head out of the clouds, settle down and get a real job. Don’t listen to them – reasonable is boring!
Only share your dreams with folks who will support and encourage you – people with big dreams for themselves – people who are achieving unreasonable things themselves.
Find yourself an online community where people have similar ideas, or at least equally unreasonable dreams. Learn the power of global connection and collaboration – and use it to fuel your dreams.
Hope – never give up hope
Setbacks happen – get used to it, it’s no big deal.
The problem comes when you see your setback as a failure – and worse, after a series of setbacks you start to see yourself as a failure. That’s when you risk giving up hope.
Never, never give up hope. There will be a way – you just don’t see it yet.
There is no failure, only feedback
Yes, it’s a cliche, and it’s also true – if you accept it.
Learn to see your failed businesses, failed job applications, failed relationships as providers of valuable information for what to do differently next time.
Learn to be better, learn to see things differently, ask for feedback and get support. Then regroup and try again. The only way you can ever really fail is to give up. Never, never, never give up hoping and trying.
Work – never quit working
Yes, I did say you should never stop working, but don’t misunderstand the nature of ‘work’. I’m not suggesting that you end your days slaving in a factory / office / call-center job that you hate.
The principle here is that when you find work that you love, whatever that looks like to you, it no longer feels like work. I’m talking about the kind of work that makes you feel alive and leaves you more energized at the end of the day than when you start.
Never give that up. Pivot, adjust, realign, give back to the community when you no longer need the money by all means. But never give up doing what you love. Stay active. Stay alive!
Learning – never stop learning
This is the big one – the key to everything: Always be learning.
Don’t be all teenage rebellious about this and think that learning ends when you get out of school – grow up! Thinking you’re done with learning is a sure way to a mediocre life. Real learning starts when you leave school.
And no, I’m not talking about college! Unless you’re intent on being a doctor or lawyer, you don’t need it, and you certainly don’t need the thousands of dollars of debt that comes with it. Get a real education.
Learn how to think for yourself – they won’t teach you that in college!
Invest in yourself
Embrace personal development – not the motivational, ra-ra hype kind, but practical, real-world skills.
Work on your philosophy, work on your attitude, work on your personality, work on your language, work on the gift of communication, work on all your abilities and if you’ll start making those personal changes, I’m telling you, everything will change for you.
~ Jim Rohn
Jim Rohn was old-school, but he had that right! Here’s another gem:
Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job. If you work hard on your job you’ll make a living, if you work hard on yourself you can make a fortune.
~ Jim Rohn
So true! Whatever you dream of doing, work on yourself until you become the person who can achieve it. If Jim had one outstanding gift, it was the ability to sum these things up in one beautifully succinct phrase:
Success is not to be pursued; it is to be attracted by the person you become.
~ Jim Rohn
And there it is in a nutshell. Never give up – if you haven’t achieved the level of success you desire, however you choose to define it, it’s simply because you haven’t yet become the person you need to be.
There is no shortage of information – learn to use Google effectively. Whatever skill or knowledge you need is at your fingertips. Buy a book, enroll in an online course, join a community where you get support and accountability.
Never give up, never stop learning, and don’t ever be afraid of investing in yourself – it pays fortunes in any way you care to measure it.
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