For a Good Life, Giving Up Is Not an Option
Over the years I have observed many people with all sorts of lifestyles and from all walks of life. One pattern stands out. People who live successful lives all share the same three qualities:
Dr. Scott Peck tells us in the first chapter of his book, The Road Less Traveled, that life is difficult. Not only does he tell us that life is difficult but he instructs us to accept this as a fact and to stop acting surprised and shocked when setbacks and tragedy enter our lives.
Examples of perseverance
I learned early in life the importance of not giving up. As a young boy, I was surrounded by Greek immigrants who came to the United States to carve out a better life for themselves. They endured the long voyage from Greece to the United States by boat. They entered competitive cities not knowing the language and with few skills. Like many other immigrants from all over the world they found hardships and discouragements to be a daily diet, but they did not give up on creating a new life.
Terry Anderson was a reporter who was captured years ago in the Middle East. His captors kept him imprisoned for seven years, chained to a wall with a three-foot chain. Now free, he tells his audiences during public speaking engagements that he never gave up during those awful years. He says he found strength and inspiration to not give up by reading one book over and over again: the Bible. It is filled with the stories of many who suffered and did not give up.
Advice for perseverance
If we had a textbook on how to live life, not giving up would be the first chapter. And in this chapter would be the following advice:
Living life is something none of us master. All we can hope for is to get better and better at directing our lives. With this in mind, make three lists over the next few days. Take your time to consider these tasks:
Looking for inspiration
No doubt you will find yourself discouraged from time to time as you strive to reach these goals. You will be discouraged by setbacks and you will be discouraged when adversity enters your life. So you will need a way to keep yourself inspired:
I’m sure as you examine your own life you will see that when you chose to not give up, you advanced your life. These choices from your past will inspire you to deal with the events of life that lie ahead of you. Good luck!
It’s Not About The Bike: My Journey Back to Life by Lance Armstrong. Penguin Putnam, 2000.