Never Give Up, Great Things Take Time

Published on: November 12, 2013

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“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”Harriet Beecher Stowe 

I’m certain you’ve been there before. No matter how hard you try all your efforts seem to be in vain. Don’t despair, for some of life’s greatest victories have come to those who have persisted despite external conditions. There is no finite, linear progression toward the realisation of one’s goals. Success is achieved through a series of setbacks, dead ends and smaller victories.

It is the journey, not the goal itself that determines the person you become. Successful leaders will advise you that the journey is the basis to one’s fulfilment. You might recall Thomas Edison overcame repeated setbacks and failures to discover the light bulb. It took him no less than 1,000 attempts to invent what is regarded today as one of history’s greatest invention.

Success Is Closer Than You Think

Now you might wince exclaiming “I don’t have the wherewithal to persist through 1,000 failures” to realise success. But what if his invention required 1,000 attempts before success was imminent? You see, sometimes the process dictates the path to success. If your goal is manageable in scale, your failure may not be as prominent as Thomas Edison’s.

On the other hand if your goal is to impact humanity on a global scale, the process of pursuing the goal will almost certainly meet with unexpected detours and setbacks. The scale of the goal will determine the course one takes and subsequently the actions required in order to fulfil that goal.

Consider this, what if your endeavour required time and patience and you knew this in advance; would you still persist? Oftentimes we are discouraged from pursuing our goal due to many unknown factors. Inevitably we give up due to the fear of the unknown, rather than embrace it as a challenge. It is the fear of the road ahead which debilitates us, since uncertainty indicates success may be unattainable.

My advice for overcoming the fear of failure is embraced by the willingness to let go of mastering time and enjoy the process instead. If you love what you do and do what you love, then it stands to reason that the process becomes your focus. You have no doubt heard the adage ‘think with the end in mind.’ By orientating yourself to the fulfillment of the goal, affords you the opportunity to engineer the steps required in reverse.

In his wildly acclaimed book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen Covey proposes that when we think about our goal with the end in mind, it creates a pathway toward victory. Many people give up on their goal for a variety of reasons. My belief is that the goal may not be imbued with passion and purpose. You must foster an indestructible passion and conviction toward the realisation of your goal. Failure is not to be contemplated.

Ponder this for a moment. Which is greater, the joy of success or the misery of defeat? Are you motivated to succeed or are you motivated to avoid pain? Psychologists call this the pain-pleasure principle. The avoidance of pain may be likened to mice administered electric shock treatment within a lab environment. They are discouraged from attaining the reward since the pain overwhelms the pleasure of the reward.

In order to realise your goal, an attitude of consistent persistence must be accompanied by an undeniable belief to succeed. Consistent dedication is paramount, given your daily habits lead toward success or failure. Consistency matched with passion, enthusiasm and desire ultimately lead toward the path of success.

Before you consider giving up, rest or take a mini break if you must. Sometimes we need a break from the pursuit of our goal in order to gain clarity and perspective. Albert Einstein said, “You can’t solve a problem with the same level of thinking that created it in the first instance.” Therefore viewing your goal with a new mind allows you to see possible opportunities that may not have been apparent previously.

One can never predict how long it takes to achieve success. If you pursue your goal with an undeniable belief and conviction, then success will assuredly greet you in due course. The process becomes far more enjoyable than the victory itself.

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