Law #12 – Never Give Up!
In this chapter, T.J. Hoisington starts with some recognizable examples of persistent people. The stories of Thomas Edison and Colonel Saunders are ones anyone whose reads about motivation or business would know. The one that really brought it home for me was his retelling of a scene from the movie “Chariots of Fire”. One of the athletes considers quitting on his dream when faced with what he believe are impossible odds. He tells his girlfriend, “ If I can’t win, I won’t run!” to which she responds, with a brilliant answer… “If you don’t run, you can’t win.” Giving up is a sure fire way to fail, and it is a decision that won’t even teach you what might lead to success. T.J. says: “There is one guaranteed way you won’t fulfill your dreams, and that is to simply quit on them.”
The message behind this is to not ignore the possibility of failure completely, that kind of wishful thinking may only lead to dangerous results. Keep your goals in sight and allow yourself to change the plan as you learn what works best. T.J. reminds us that wanting to be a winner is great, but we most likely will always start off losing until the skills develop. Diana Nyad teaches us in “Never, ever give up!”, the absoluteness of learning from experience is the partner of an optimistic vision. Diana set out to do something the greatest of her vocation hadn’t done in 60 over years. Even she had tried it and failed before and was given ample evidence it was impossible to succeed, but she was also given a gift. Her support team were all standing there with her during this attempt and she only had to swim to succeed. Her trusted team would do the rest. Near the end of her swim from Cuba to Florida, she was dehydrated, exhausted, and hallucinating that she saw the sun rising on the horizon. She was sure she failed again when her team called her to the boat, and they told her one thing; it wasn’t the sun on the horizon, but lights off the beach. She wasn’t there yet, so she just went on and accomplished what was impossible before her. She didn’t quit!
We are accustomed to faster response times and instant gratification, but we have lost the gifts of anticipation. Giving up before getting the prize can’t be the best solution. If you plant tomato plants in your garden in the spring, you care for them, and watch them grow. In the early fall, when the tomatoes are big and green, do you tear them all out in frustration and run to the grocery store to buy red tomatoes? Or, do you tend them some more and waiting for that first juicy bite? I know what I do and I love that first tomato each year… usually for someone I love, because there are a ton of greens ones ripening right behind the first one! Hoisington teaches us “If you believe in your goals strongly enough, and if you are committed to them, they will eventually bear fruit.”
Remind yourself of the tomatoes when feeling the fear of failure whispering for you to quit on your dreams. Imagine instead that the goal is as inevitable as the tomatoes, and while some may get eaten by squirrels, or a branch may break from too many tomatoes, we can learn how to protect the rest from this happening again. T.J. reminds us that failure is a sure path to a stronger success and it “is only the end if we let it be… use failures as learning opportunities, bringing you closer to your desired outcome.” Persistence is an encyclopedia of affirmations available to each and every one of us, and they are free. All you need is to choose them… Start with a mindset change towards success: Replace all your “If”s with “When”s and watch the momentum grow… to surpass the goals you originally set. Borrow this message from one of the worlds greatest athletes, Michael Jordan: “I have failed over and over and over again in my life and that’s why… I succeed.” Or ask yourself this: How many steps did I take to get to my successes? Now thank yourself for not giving up before taking every step!
Today I will reaffirm to myself that I will endure and persist until my goal is achieved.
Wishing you all a tremendous week!