7 Reasons to Never Give Up

There are many ways to be taught a life lesson. Often the best teacher is also the most painful. Trials, struggles and adversities can teach a great deal if we can survive them. The key is to never give up.

Quotes are important to me. I love to write them down and refer to them for inspiration and comfort. Today I will share seven of my favorites and how they can help you to never give up.

 

This writer has had his fair share of struggles and disappointments. Most days it feels like more than a fair share, but we are all living with our own private hell.

Rather than focus on the struggles and negative, today I want to concentrate on how to keep going.

 

Focus on the Light

A light appears to be at its brightest when everything around it is dark. The trouble is that when things in our lives are the most dark, we often feel we can’t see past the darkness. Light is always there. It might be a small speck in the distance, but it is there.

Look for the light. If you see even a hint of light, focus on it.

Frequently, when things are at their worst, we tend to close our eyes, at least figuratively. Things are so bad, we can’t bear to see anything else. I have been in that darkness more than once. I’m sure I will be there again.

Have you ever watched a sunrise? I don’t mean just the last few moments before the sun crests over the horizon. I mean starting from the dead of night.

The first hints of light are barely discernable. But then, as if by magic, light begins to infiltrate the sky.

Keep looking for the light and you will find it.

 

It’s Okay to Start Over

I have failed at three businesses. It’s important to me to share that so you can understand where I am coming from.

Many times when everything falls apart, we can’t help but keep trying to put things back together. But sometimes Humpty Dumpty can’t be fixed. And that’s okay. Maybe he shouldn’t be.

Relationships, businesses, creative endeavors all may fail. Sometimes it’s an epic fail. So, ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?”

Many times, it is not really a failure. What may at first seem to be a fail may actually prove to be milestone on the road to your success.

Thomas Edison became famous for saying “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”

Learn from today and start new tomorrow.

 

Struggles Produce Strength

This quote provides a life lesson most easily illustrated through exercise. Starting an exercise program can be difficult and painful. But the only way to achieve that beach-worth body is to push through the pain.

Here in Tennessee the weather has started to warm up. A few days ago, I plunged myself into work in preparing my flower beds for spring.

Evidently, I have not stretched the muscles in my thighs and hips for most of the winter. Too much time spent writing, I imagine. After just a few hours spent squatting in the flower beds, I had the pleasure of hobbling around the next few days like an 80-year-old man.

Should I stay out of the gardens? Of course not. My body will adjust again to working in the yard. There might be some pain along the way, but it is worth it in reaching the end result.

If you are suffering through something right now, look for ways to gain strength from this experience.

 

Difficulties Produce Success

This quote by Samuel Smiles is one of my favorites. You could never reach the top of the mountain without climbing it. Why would we expect any other success to be different?

Let’s think for a minute about marathon runners. No one would just wake up one day and decide to run a marathon. The Boston Marathon is just over 26 miles. I’m not sure I could even walk 26 miles. In fact, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t. Some days driving 26 miles requires an effort.

Marathon runners train for months and years. They get up early to run in snow, rain and dark of night. They know the struggle is integral to reaching their goal of completing the marathon.

That’s an important point. Not every marathon runner, in fact most I would imagine, runs with the hope of winning the race. For many the goal is simply to finish the race.

Keep your eyes on your goal. And your first goal should be realistic.

If you were starting a new business, you would never expect to become a millionaire the first year. Yes, it does happen, but it is very rare. Very rare.

Instead, your first goal might be to be profitable. Most new businesses are not profitable for 2-5 years. Being profitable is a very realistic and important goal.

It’s the same for anything else. Yes, you may struggle. It may feel like you are always going uphill. But keep your goal in mind and you will attain success.

 

Success Requires Sacrifice

Intentionally, I am going to misapply this wonderful quote by Dr. King. While he was talking specifically about pursuing justice for all, the gist of his words can apply to any struggle.

Meditate on a few of the expressions he used. Requires sacrifice. Tireless exertions. Passionate concern. Dedicated.

Success in endeavors or in life does not happen without effort. If life sucks right now, well, I’m sorry. But that is part of life. Giving up now will get you nowhere.

Suffering is an important part of the journey. Many of us best learned empathy and compassion as a direct result of the terrible things we experienced.

Dedicate yourself to reaching your goal. Whether it is achieving a healthy life or writing a book, dedication and sacrifice will be your footholds to your ultimate goal.

 

Success is a State of Mind

I would have liked to meet Napoleon Hill. Over the years I have collected dozens of his quotes. Many of them keep me going from day to day.

You will never truly fail until you quit in your own mind.

One of my favorite stories is that of Captain Ernest Shackleton and the loss of the ship ironically named Endurance. I may even dedicate an entire post to it later on.

The Endurance was crushed and sunk in the South Atlantic by pack ice. Shackleton and a few of his crew set out in their small lifeboat to reach a whaling station. Terrible conditions forced them to land the boat 20 miles from the station.

With no climbing equipment and subzero temperatures, his small party treked uncharted, snow-covered mountains to reach the station and rescue the rest of their crew. It took 17 days.

None of his crew were lost.

What kept his crew going despite seemingly hopeless odds? They believed their captain would keep his promise to rescue them.

How did Captain Shackleton keep himself going? His primary ambition was to save every one of his men. Failure was not an option. His mind was determined on success.

The mind is more powerful than we often give it credit for. If you believe you will fail, you will fail.

But chance to believe you will succeed? You may just rescue your entire crew.

 

Refuse to Stop Fighting

Personally, I am not a fan of boxing. I’m sorry if that offends you. But I don’t understand two people senselessly beating each other to a pulp.

Boxing does teach us an important life lesson. The winner of the match isn’t necessarily the strongest or the biggest.

The trait that creates winners in the ring is the refusal to stay down. Hit them over and over and over. (Seriously, why do they do this?) They keep getting up.

Life is often like a dirty boxing opponent. It breaks the rules and hits you in the most sensitive areas.

Keep getting up.

The end of a relationship might flatten you.

Keep getting up.

Closing a business may be devastating.

Keep getting up.

Serious health conditions may overtake you.

To the extent you can, keep getting up.

You got this. I believe in you.

Thank you for taking the time to read this life lesson from the I’ve Learned series. What keeps you from giving up? Please share your thoughts and tips in the comments.

Until next time…

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