12 - NEVER GIVE UP
How do you handle personal loss?
Quitters never win, and winners never quit!
One night Thomas Edison’s lab was destroyed by fire. The next morning he looked at the ruins and said, “There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew.” Could you have remained so positive?
J.K. Rowling experienced great loss, yet today is one of the world’s most renowned writers. In 1990, on a train trip to London, J.K. Rowling got the idea for a story of a young boy who attends a school of wizardry. As soon as she reached her home, she immediately began to write. In the subsequent years, Rowling saw herself as “the biggest failure I knew.” Her marriage had failed and she was jobless with a dependent child. She also suffered from depression and had contemplated suicide. She said, “Failure meant …I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was and began to direct all my energy to finishing the only work that mattered to me.”
Although very poor, Rowling finished her first book on an old manual typewriter. Twelve publishers rejected the manuscript! Be she kept trying! A year later she began reaping the rewards of never giving up. She was offered a modest advance from a small publishing house and shortly thereafter became a household name worth billions of dollars
J. K. Rowling once felt like a failure. Instead of giving up, she “stripped everything away and started building from there.” The result was a changed woman and a changed world.
As you think, so shall you be. Sometimes, we can be our own worst enemy. This occurs when we think poorly of ourselves, criticize ourselves, or say things such as, “I can’t do this” or “I’m just not good enough.” This kind of thinking is unnecessary. It’s been shown that by eliminating negative language from our vocabulary, and by maintaining only positive thoughts, life can be happier and more successful.
Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Fill your mind with positive thoughts, ideas, literature, music, and media. Stay focused on your vision and goals. Have faith and believe in a positive outcome. Remember that time spent thinking negatively is time not applied to creative thinking and positive solutions.
1. Identify an inspiring purpose that can drive you forward when challenging times come. Write your answer down in your Thoughts Book or in your journal.
2. Replace your negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Resolve to only focus on positive thoughts throughout the week. Become the master of your mind and immediately replace negative thoughts with uplifting and positive ones. Whenever you think a negative thought, say the ‘cancel’ and replace it with a positive thought.
3. Read pages 168 – 185 in Becoming Your Best: The 12 Principles of High Successful Leaders for additional ideas and thoughts on how to develop a culture of accountability and personal responsibility.
You can do it!
What do you do when the going gets tough? There are always options and each one of us must decide to never quit the race, to Never Give Up!
Never Give Up is an attitude, a process, and a mantra all rolled into one. To unlock your potential in the face of difficulty, crisis, or disaster is wrapped up in the will to go on. These are the times you discover what is within you. You have a choice when it seems difficulties have locked all the doors – that choice is to stay in the game. Keep fouling off strikes until your pitch comes. Then hit it out of the park.
To achieve your very best you must defeat the enemy within. One of the biggest enemies to personal happiness and joy in the journey can be feelings of discouragement, loneliness, disappointment, defeat, or being overwhelmed. Beset by these kinds of feelings, you fail to win because:
— You give up before you give yourself a chance.
— You’re afraid that the cost in terms of effort and other resources is too high.
— You believe the critics within (your own voice) and without (others around you who say, “You can’t succeed”).
There are many positive actions that you can control – including, but not limited to the following:
— Make a list of all of the things you can do to help solve the problem or challenge.
— Consult with a mastermind group that can be of help. From the recommendations of this mastermind group, real or imaginary, add to your list of things that can help you solve the problem.
— Pick out some of the items on your list of things you can control, and develop a plan of action to implement them.
— Ask yourself, “How do I bounce back? How do I recover from where I was? What is the worst that can happen?” Then go forward with the plan you have implemented.
By focusing on the things you can control, and not worrying about the things you can’t control, you will feel more confidence and peace and you will experience progress.
1. Develop a “No Quit” attitude. Determine now that no matter the difficulty, you’ll find a way and you won’t quit.
2. Control what you can control. If you face a challenge right now, go through the four bullet points in this e-mail under control what you can control. Right now, schedule a time when you’ll do this.
Never, Never, Never Give Up
As Johann Wolfgang said, “I love those who yearn for the impossible!”
By the autumn of 1941, Britain had been fighting the Nazis for two years. During that time, food was rationed, bombs were dropped on homes and buildings in London, and thousands of men and women were sent abroad to fight–many of which would never return. During this demoralizing and terrible period of World War II, Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited Harrow School to speak to the students. His speech became one of the most quoted speeches of the era. In it, he said,
“Never give in. Never, never, never–in nothing, great or small, large or petty–never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
Winston Churchill turned impending defeat into the will to win. As you face difficult challenges, make the phrase “never give in” resonate strongly within your mind.
One way to do this is to recognize that you have the power to do hard things. You likely know people who often consider themselves a victim. They feel that the world is always falling apart, the world owes them, and they blame their circumstances for their failures. These people are a creature of circumstance. Circumstances control them and not vice versa.
On the other hand, if you are a creator of circumstance you realize that the majority of circumstances in your life are the result of your choices and decisions. Don’t dwell on things you cannot control, but use what you can control to improve your life.
William James said “The greatest discovery of our generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind. As you think, so shall you be.”
Remember, never give up! Your attitude is one of your best tools for overcoming any obstacle.
1. List a few people you know who exemplify perseverance – they never give in. These would be people who forge ahead, go around, over, or through obstacles. They make necessary adjustments to achieve their goals! What can you learn from these people?
2. Make a list of things you can control. Go to work on the things you CAN control and try not to worry as much about the things you CANNOT control.
Nick Vujicic is a great example of this principle! Despite having no legs and no arms, he got married, graduated from a university, wrote a book, and actively swims, surfs, golfs, and inspires millions?!
Sometimes you will be tempted to say, “I can’t do this” and then develop a list of reasons why you can’t. One of the first things Nick Vujicic does to overcome these feelings is to be thankful.
I suggest starting a few days every week by writing a thank you card to an associate or family member. Grab an old-fashioned piece of paper that requires a stamp. It is much more significant than an email or text. Even in difficult times there is much good around us. These thank you cards will help a person focus and find strength in the positive elements of life. It can be as simple as this:
When my oldest son was fourteen, he announced that he was going to participate in the 50/20 event with his local scout troop—a challenge that involved walking 50 miles in twenty hours! I told him that this sounded like a serious challenge. I reminded him that when Shallenberger’s start something, we finish it! Rob said, “I understand—I’ll finish it.”
I soon discovered that only 10-15% of people finished the entire distance. I was glad my son had committed to finish, but was concerned considering the dismal statistics. My son started the walk from Salt Lake City towards our home 50 miles away around 5pm. I figured I would go to the finish line the next day and cheer him on. At 4 a.m. the next morning, I heard a noise and, upon inspecting, found my son in bed! He said he made it 30 miles when a parent of another boy drove by and offered them a ride home. Feeling worn out and satisfied with 30 miles, he jumped into the car to finish early.
I asked him if he remembered committing to finish the event. He nodded and I said, “We agreed that if you start something, you must finish.” He agreed and I offered to go back to where he had left off and walk with him. Fortunately, we still had time to finish within the 20 hour limit. My son actually ran the final mile to cross the finish line. It was a grand accomplishment! Far more important than anything else that happened that day, my son learned that when you make a commitment to yourself, you do it!
1. Write Thank You cards. Pick someone from your network, from work, or from your family and simply thank them for something. Not only will you strengthen your relationships, but you’ll find greater personal strength during challenging times.
2. Watch this video about Nick Vujicic. In your thoughts book, identify ways you can persevere instead of giving up.