Life Doesn’t Have A Timeline For Us
“The moment you’re about to quit is the moment right before the miracle happens. Don’t give up.”—Anonymous
Quitting is easy, though we rarely achieve anything worthwhile when we abandon our goals. Knowing that, take a moment to reflect on something you’re contemplating giving up on. It may be career related, health or otherwise. Why do you want to give up? Is it the only way? Have you considered other options? Once you’ve had a moment to reflect on it, think about why you undertook the goal? Having a powerful passion or purpose makes it harder to quit because of the emotional investment required to achieve it. Sometimes, we undertake goals we don’t resonate with, but because they fill a void in our life. Pursuing a goal or dream should be imbued with a sense of value and meaning, otherwise we’re less likely to see it through. Does this make sense, where being committed to the goal is more important than wishing for something better to come along?
To go through life quitting weakens our character and erodes our self-esteem, since we become habituated to taking the easy way out. As you know, life is not meant to be a bed of roses, nor is it riddled with pain and suffering. When we make choices aligned with our core values, we pursue actions aligned with them. Sometimes, chasing after a goal or dream means toiling away in the trenches, for months, if not years, with no respite. Occasionally, it requires walking away from situations that no longer serve our purpose. This is difficult because there are no assurances. The one measure we have is whether it feels right. Our emotions become our barometer, if we’re in it for the right reasons.
To achieve anything substantial requires determination and a resolute will to overcome the obstacles and challenges that lay ahead. It requires facing our demons and wrestling with them repeatedly. It involves revisiting the past and dredging up baggage we thought we healed. I don’t believe life is bound by a timeline because sometimes we must gain knowledge, wisdom and understanding which cannot be rushed. Just as a flower blooms at the right time, so do the fruits of our labour when the conditions are right. To quit means throwing away the time and energy invested in pursuing a goal. What I’m saying is: We mustn’t allow difficult moments to define whether we will achieve our goals and dreams. This is the advice echoed by psychologist Angela Duckworth, who writes in Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance: “Many of us, it seems, quit what we start far too early and far too often. Even more than the effort a gritty person puts in on a single day, what matters is that they wake up the next day, and the next, ready to get on that treadmill and keep going.”
Nothing Substantial Comes Easily
“One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.”—Napoleon Hill
Invariably, we will face difficult moments and make tough decisions anyway, so we might as well be doing it pursuing our passions and aspirations. How does this idea appeal to you? Can you see how sticking with something long term can be a significant benefit to you? It’s worth rendering a caveat here that sometimes we ought to quit when things are not working out. I don’t intend the advice in this article to mean you mustn’t ever give up. The message is simple: if you are passionate about something, go get it and let go of why you can’t have it. In this wicked world of illusion, sometimes miracles can happen overnight. Life works in mysterious ways and when least expected. Circumstances can fall into place when we labour and toil away at our respective goal.
Nothing substantial comes easily, and if it does, it is likely to slip from our hands just as quickly. For example, if you’re in a relationship that has run its course, your only choice may be to walk away from it, but what about investing the time and energy to work it out? Might it be in your best interest to keep trying before you quit? I don’t have the answers and neither will you until you embark upon the hard work, which can be tiresome and plain ugly. The hard work is not cut out for everyone, and why many people quit ahead of time. With this in mind, I’d like you to examine one area of your life where you feel giving up is your only choice. Over the coming three days, see if you can find an alternative solution by journaling different approaches. Really invest time and effort and come up with at least 10 ideas every day for three days. Every idea counts, no matter how silly it appears on paper. If, after three days, you still feel giving up is your only solution, at least you will have explored every avenue. Decide on what you want for your life and create the structure and foundation for it to rest on. Do everything in your power to go after your goal or dream, and if you want to give up, at least you will have a compelling reason to do so.