We’ve all heard the saying before: Winners never quit, and quitters never win. So, why is it so easy for so many people to quit on their goals? The answer is simple: It’s easy.
The harder choice would be to push through the obstacles and the challenges. Facts are in, more people will fail at success than succeed. More people will fail at their fitness goals than succeed. More people will fail at their marriages than succeed. More people fail in college than succeed!
The failure rate at anything and everything seems to be higher than the success rate. It comes down to one thing: Those who make it just never quit, and those who don’t quit too soon.
What if Thomas Edison gave up on his attempt to improve the light bulb? What if Michael Jordan quit when he got cut from his high school basketball team? What if Martin Luther King quit on his march for freedom when things got a little scary?
Where would we be as a society if the leaders from our pasts quit on the greatness they pursued in their lives that have changed and affected so many lives thereafter?
In my career, I’ve learned a very important lesson I will continue to carry with me: The only way to fail at anything is to quit.
The great Napoleon Hill once wrote,
Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step BEYOND their greatest setback and failure.
This leads me to believe that most people have failed and quit right before their greatest achievement was about to occur. Often, there was just one more step needed. If you aim to achieve some sort of greatness in your life, the task will not be an easy one, and you’ll want to quit multiple times.
But, before you do, remember a few key points:
Remind yourself what you’re going back to
If you were happy with your life in the first place, you would have never ventured on this journey to achieve something greater. When someone pursues success in life, it’s exciting and empowering at first.
The future seems bright, but because everything in life gets mundane after doing it for so long, once the excitement dies down, the obstacles and challenges start to feel overwhelming.
The paths they expected didn’t have the setbacks and failures they’re now experiencing, and this is usually the moment when they start doubting whether they’re doing the right thing.
One thing is true in life, and that’s that you cannot control the circumstances, but you can control your response to them.
Before you quit, remind yourself what you’re quitting to go back to. Remind yourself of the life you didn’t enjoy and the situation that didn't make you happy. Remember why you ventured out for greatness in the first place.
It may feel good to revisit at first because it’s where you’re most comfortable. You won’t have as much pressure, and the challenges may go away temporarily, but once the dust settles and you realize where you are again, the feeling of not being satisfied will rise again.
You’ll be unhappy again, except this time, you’ll be ridden with guilt and disappointment because you failed your attempt. The more times you let yourself quit on your goals, the harder it becomes to continue chasing them.
Lance Armstrong once said,
Pain is temporary. It may last for a minute, or an hour or a day, or even a year. But eventually, it will subside. And something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it will last forever.
Reminding yourself what you will be going back to is sometimes enough to push you to move forward.
Remind yourself that most people would quit
Doing what most people do will only grant you what most people have. If you want different results than what most people get, you need to be willing to do what most people won’t. Not quitting is one of those things.
When times get tough, most people choose to quit. If it’s an easy choice to make, then it’s probably the wrong choice. In life, you constantly face two choices when opposition comes your way -- the easy choice or the right choice.
If most people are busy making the easy choice, challenge and push yourself to make the right choice. Sure, it’ll be harder, but it’ll get you further ahead and closer to achieving your goal.
More opportunities exist on the roads less traveled. It’s less crowded. And, those who are there are people who have faced the same challenges and risen above the occasion and pushed past their own obstacles. What better place to be than in the vicinity of those looking to achieve the same things in life?
Free yourself from the conformity of others. Pave your own way. The latter of that would be to live the same and have the same, therefore, be the same and stay the same... forever. Remember, the choice is yours.
Remind yourself that the bigger the challenge, the bigger the reward
No matter where you are in life, if you’re looking to achieve something great, how far up you need to climb determines the magnitude of the challenges you will encounter.
Most people look at challenges and grow discouraged without realizing that a challenge is an invitation to the next level of success in your life. A challenge is simply a mindset you aren’t used to acknowledging. That’s why they feel so uncomfortable at times.
Finding the right solutions and getting the right perspective doesn’t change the challenge; it changes the person pursuing it. Like Abraham Lincoln once said,
We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.
It all comes down to a matter of perspective. If you’re being challenged, it’s not the end of the world — it’s the beginning of a new one.
Understand that life wants you to succeed; it wants you to have everything you’ve ever wanted, but it won't make things easy for you. It wants you to work for it. It needs to challenge you mentally and shape you to become the caliber of person who can have that certain type of success in life.
You can live your entire life desiring and wanting more and being comfortable with the mentality and person you are now, or you can allow challenges to change you and mold you into who you want and need to be in order to achieve your most desired dreams and goals.
If you are not getting ahead in life, you are falling behind. Remember, whatever you seek is seeking you. But, you have to allow the challenges to shape you. Embrace them. Accept them. Napoleon Hill said it best,
For every obstacle and failure carries with it the seed of equivalent benefit or advantage.
Can you train yourself to find that silver lining in every obstacle? Can you brush yourself off and go at it again? Do you have what it takes to make the right choice over the easier choice?
One last thing before you quit: Remember that no one else deserves success more than you.
We are all running the same race. You can’t control where you begin, but you can control where you finish. Some of us have to work harder, dig deeper, seek longer and push further. But, we are all unique and hold within us a unique advantage. It’s your job to discover what that is and pursue it with all you have.
Develop the habit of moving beyond your limitations and fears. When you quit, you are only quitting on yourself. Before you quit, decide not to. Like the great Olympian Ruben Gonzalez once said,
Develop the courage to start, and once you start, develop the courage to not quit.