Do you ever ask yourself whether it is time to give up? I think that we all ask ourselves this question, from time to time. Almost always, the answer is “No, don’t give up yet.” Life has a natural rhythm and, as you know, some days are better than others. Are you just having a bad day or a bad run of luck, like Abraham Lincoln did (see below)? Maybe one thing after another has gone wrong and you’re thinking of quitting your job, business, relationship, passsion, whatever.
Has ‘quitting early’ become a habit? If it has, it is a bad habit. Success takes tenacity. If you talk to other people about quitting, you will see patterns emerging. It is difficult to stick with a challenge through thick and thin (I know, I have been there).
By the way, I am not talking about bad habits (i.e. smoking).
Here are 7 reasons not to quit:
1. Stickability is character forming. As coach Vince Lombardi said: “Winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win.”
2. This is your reputation we’re talking about. Being known as a quitter is not great from a personal branding point of view.
3. Staying in the game is a learning opportunity. Adversity brings deep learning opportunities.
4. If you quit too soon, you will never achieve mastery. If you have done it one area, it becomes easier to achieve it in another area.
5. Life is a long series of problems. Or, as I would prefer to put this: “Life is a long series of challenges.” We all face them. Some people learn how to solve them as they arise, which in turn means that they are better equipped to overcome bigger hurdles.
6. You learn more about yourself in adversity. Remember that bad times don’t last.
7. It’s you, not the world. As the world keeps throwing challenges at you – there is a message here, isn’t there? The world is saying: “As long as you live, there’ll be problems; life is not about the problems: it is how you react to them.”
Here is what happened to Abraham Lincoln:
1816: Family evicted from their home. He found work to support them.
1818: Mother dies.
1831: He fails in business.
1832: Linkcoln runs for state legislature and loses.
1832: Lost his job and fails to get into law school.
1833: Borrowed money and ends up bankrupt. Takes 17 years paying off this debt (to a friend).
1834: Ran for state legislature; this time he wins.
1835: Engaged to be married but his fiancee dies.
1836: Has a nervous breakdown; in in bed for 6 months.
1838: Tries to become speaker of the state legislature. Fails.
1840: Tries to become elector. Fails.
1843: Runs for Congress. Fails.
1846: Runs for Congress. Wins.
1848: Runs for re-election to Congress. Fails.
1849 Applies for land officer job. Fails.
1854: Runsn for Senate of the United States. Fails.
1856: Seeks Vice-Presidential nomination – receives under 100 votes.
1858: Runsn for U.S. Senate again. Loses.
1860: Elected president of the United States.
At what stage would you have given up?
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