Have you felt like quitting lately? I know I have. I looked at my life and suddenly it didn’t seem as sexy as I wanted. It just felt disjointed. If I’m being honest, I wanted to quit. The urge to quit was extremely tempting and every bone in my body said quit. But I heard a faint voice in my head that said, “Never give up, never give in!”
You see most of us can muster the courage to start, however very few of us have the courage to finish. This is why gyms and insurance companies make a killing. They bank on the fact that most of us will pay for a membership or for insurance and then quit. The result is that these companies get free money. And then we are the ones left holding the bag.
Quitting is easy and can momentarily put us at ease. The truth is that greatness does not come to those who quit. In the ancient manuscript it states that the race is not for the swift but for those who endure, Ecclesiastes 9:11. Endurance is simply the ability to withstand challenges or adversity. In our microwave world, we mistakenly believe that we do not have time to endure. We believe that we must shy away from challenges and adversity. We are convinced that challenges and adversity are signs to quit rather than signs to persevere. When we cannot see the immediate results, we are quick to throw in the towel. We fall victim to deceptive marketing tactics that tell us that we can eat whatever we want, lay on the couch and still lose weight. We repeatedly fall victim to those tactics because it promises immediate results, very little commitment from us and high reward. As a result, we leave trails of abandoned goals, projects and relationships
We often mistake movement for effectiveness. We are busy moving but really going nowhere. We are not holding on to our commitments and we are obsessed with cutting corners. We want the medal but are unwilling to put in the work, unwilling to endure. Although we see the results of our broken commitments, we keep doing the same thing expecting a different result. When we do the same things and expect something different, that is called insanity. Yet we are moving so quickly that we seldom take time to reflect on our actions. The more broken commitments we have, the more weakened our self-esteem becomes. If we want change then we must commit to doing something entirely different.
The medal is rewarded to those who finish. Ever heard someone say that they almost made it? In response, we say almost doesn’t count. It is not what we almost did that matters; it is what we do that is rewarded. There is no medal for an Olympian who fails to finish the race. However, there is a great reward for finishing. I want to urge you to join the ranks of those who finish!
You might be thinking of quitting something right now. And I am sure you have reasons. But I want to encourage you to hold on and reevaluate. Here are a few things to consider before quitting:
1. Do you have a burning desire for this goal? Essentially, know why you want it and why it is important. Commit to sticking to it no matter what.
2. Are you obsessed with a specific outcome? Life is a journey, not a destination. Focus on the progress, not the outcome. Remember the race is not for the swift but for those who endure.
3. Are you trying to swallow the whole elephant? Eat the elephant in bite-size pieces, trust me, it is more digestible. In other words, break your goals down into micro-goals. And be sure to take periodic rest when needed.
4. Who are you rolling with? Birds of a feathers flock together! Surround yourself with winners, with people who have goals and dreams. People who are likely to cheer you on and encourage you to be better. Remember iron sharpens iron!
Remember that anything worthwhile requires work. Keep pushing towards the things that truly matter in life, even when faced with challenges or adversity. In the end you will feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment and be awarded a medal for being a finisher!