Are you suffering from life overload? Or is your daily routine mundane and unexciting? Are you tired of politics, endless human suffering, or people in general? Did the cosmos, or the cold and indifferent gods deal you a bad hand?
Well, I’ve got some news for you…life’s tough! (I never said it’d be good news). But don’t let its seemingly insurmountable challenges push you to do the easiest thing in the world:
Give Up (don’t do it!)
To quit is to let the world win.
I’ve let it beat me before and it takes every ounce of strength I have to stop it from beating me again. I’ve given up on many things (making music, playing baseball, becoming a psychiatrist…) and regret not pursuing some of them further, and I still wrestle with quitting my new passions on a daily basis. Self-doubt, frustration, lack of faith, and laziness continue to hold me back. There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t consider throwing it all away because the voice in my head confirms my insecurities and a lack of will.
Life often gets in the way and the last thing I want to do after work is work even more. That includes working out, cleaning the house, writing, and taking care of my never-ending list of responsibilities. By the end of the day, there doesn’t seem to be much left of my soul to give, and the easiest thing to do would be to sit on the couch and let my mind drift; but that is a form of quitting.
It’d be easy to say ‘it can wait until tomorrow,’ but based on my experience tomorrow turns into next week and next week turns into next month and so on. That cycle is dangerous and can easily trap us. It adds up to wasted time that could’ve been used to better myself or pursue a dream. Unfortunately, it’s happened to me several times, specifically when I attempt to start my workout routines over.
My depression doesn’t help either. Most days I consider doing nothing and completely shutting myself out because all seems hopeless/pointless. There are days when no amount of effort feels like enough and every battle is uphill, both ways. But over the years I’ve learned not to let it drop me into the bottomless pit of despair. It’s best to embrace it and let my voice stem from my suffering. If I take control of it, it cannot control me.
I do not like giving up on anything because I don’t want to wake up one day and ask myself what if. Wishing I would’ve tried harder in my younger days is something I do often and is not something I want to continue doing. I think of all the things I could’ve and should’ve done but didn’t. I don’t want that to be the song I sing for the rest of my life–I just want to be able to say I tried and didn’t give in.
And I think it goes without saying that not much in this life was meant to be easy. The mechanisms put in place by the universe, gods, and society has made the acceptance of defeat a normal occurrence in our lives. And it’s easy to let it keep us down.
Because everything just seems so hard.
- Having/providing for/raising a family = hard.
- Getting in shape = hard.
- Feeling well rested = almost never
- Working = exhaustive, soul-crushing, hard.
- Trying again after failing = hard.
- Overcoming the self (doubt, shame, laziness, taking necessary risks, etc.) = very hard.
- Achieving your dreams = feels next to impossible.
- Fixing the world = has to be done a little at a time…hard!
Surviving = impossible.
All these systems, including life’s impermanence, are designed to make us compromise and sacrifice so much that we either don’t have the time, or enough remaining willpower to fight the urge to quit. They force us into submission and drive us into a life of convenience/comfort which inevitably breeds complacency & indifference.
Odds, or degrees in which adversity and challenges increase or decrease, vary from person to person, but I’m convinced that life is not easy for anyone. It just has a way of keeping us all down (some more than others).
But don’t let it win. Giving in is easy and what the world wants us to do.
Of course, there are times when giving up is necessary but this article is not about those instances. It’s about taking the hard road and laughing in the face of adversity. It’s about getting back up after falling and pushing back against circumstance and failure. It is what fills our lives with purpose and satisfaction–it will also allow us to examine our past without regret, knowing we didn’t take the easy route.
But it takes the effort of strong men and women to drive ourselves and humanity forward. It takes tenacity, courage, and strength-of-will to defy the forces designed to keep us down. They won’t ever stop working against you.
Because, life is tough.
Often unnecessarily so, but it is the world we live in. But it is worth living because of the challenges we face, and the effort we give to overcome them. Our gratification won’t necessarily come from victory but will come from knowing we had the strength to fight against whatever was thrown at us. Our efforts are our purpose.
So push yourself past any limitations you encounter. Know that giving up is easy and is why so many people take that path.
Be different. Be resilient. Because not everyone can get past the countless hinderances and failures…but you can! Not everyone has the strength…but you do! All you have to do is keep moving forward.
Do you have any stories of when you wanted to give up but didn’t? Or do you feel like giving up now and would like to get some motivation? Feel free to post your stories/questions/thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section or reach out to me directly by using the form in the ‘Contact Us’ page. We’d love to hear what you have to say!