I recently met my music school fellow during a music concert. He has been learning classical singing for many years and puts in a lot of effort to learn, though he is not from any musical background. Moreso he is a senior Govt. official which makes the task even more challenging. I was quite delighted to meet him and checked if he is preparing for our Annual Concert in March. He sounded quite disappointed and said: I am thinking of giving up and quitting learning classical music for the good. I am finding it hard to cope with the stress involved and the time you need to devote.
I was quite surprised at that as I knew that he was one of the brightest students in the school. He added, “My friends and family are also insisting that I should give up now.” I tried to pacify him and said, “Why do you want to give up on your passion particularly when you have come a long way? Moreso you are nearly set for some commercial concerts. Your efforts are nearing fruition.”
I told him to give a thought on my advice. But this set me thinking: How many of us quit rather than give up mid-way or when we are just nearing success?
I understand that sometimes “giving up” looks like the only solution to our problems. But ask yourself, is it right to “give up” without attempting your best? It is not. You are closing all doors, what could have been a success gateway.
Indeed, there are many times and reasons in our lives that we want to give up. We may have even followed that instinct a few times, only to regret it later. It can be hard to keep going when times seem tough. It seems like throwing in the towel is the simple answer.
There are times when we are not sure whether we want to give ourselves another chance or just give up. If you exercise the choice of giving up, you have shut yourself from the immense possibilities that could have been yours. But if you had given yourself one more chance, you would have been there.
This way we see that “not quitting” is immensely beneficial, so let us explore the benefits.
There may be truth in that it may be the simple answer, but it certainly is unsuccessful. All the great successes in life had that crossroads.
They have many more times that they failed than succeeded. The difference is that they got up one last time, the time that mattered.
Here I am referring to people like:
- Oprah Winfrey
- Walt Disney
- Stephen King
- K. Rawling
They kept in mind a few key things that all of us should remember when we are on the verge of giving up.
When you want to give up, remember this…
“Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.” – Winston Churchill
If this is true for you, do you want what you think about it to be that you threw in the towel or that you persevered? If it is the latter, it is a thought that will stick with you and motivate you in ways that you had not dreamed of. It will show you that no matter how dark things seem to have gotten, you can find strength from within and show that you could be successful if you put your mind to it. If you decided just to stop because things seemed hard, you would always live with that knowledge as well.
You are likely to question how you will handle it when things get rough in the future.
“People who have kept on trying have accomplished most of the important things in the world when there seemed to be no hope at all.” – Dale Carnegie
I am sure you know people who have given up in these moments.
Perhaps you have been the person who has given up in these moments.
I have seen people give their lifelong dreams a very short window of time to prove the success they had dreamed of before giving up.
Just when you want to give up, just close your eyes, focus, and imagine that success is just around the corner. You visualize yourself performing in a concert in a packed auditorium or your book being nominated for a coveted honour. Let that feeling sink in, and when you open your eyes, you are ready with new energy and enthusiasm.
I believe that the most successful are the ones who say they are going to keep going no matter what until they have exhausted every option possible because sometimes the last time is the time.
I saw a quote the other day that read, “Remember that guy who gave up? Neither does anyone else.”
Such a simple thought, such a sad thought, such a true thought.
People do not remember the person who made it 90% of the way to their goal. They remember the few who stuck out that extra 10% and achieved what they set out to do.
Never give up on yourself, no matter how many obstacles get thrown in your way. Obstacles are there to test you. They are there to strengthen you and make your ultimate success that much sweeter because you keep going.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein
Now that you have decided to quit, just lend me your ear, just one last time.
Have you heard of breaks?
Breaks are a thing, and it is ok to take them!
Only you know when something does not matter enough to you to be worth the effort. Maybe, what you are trying to achieve does not align with your vision, and you realize you do not want it. Then decide to quit that and refocus your energy.
However, if it is truly important and you are just overwhelmed right now, you can take a pause.
Regroup and regain your strength and then start again.
Do not “give up” when what you need is a break!
Get charged with a break, and set out to achieve your goal.
As I finished writing this piece, my phone buzzed. It was my friend who was on the other side to say: I have taken your advice and now I am getting set for our Annual Concert.
I couldn’t have been happier!!