This article first appeared on my Facebook timeline in 2017. I republished it untouched, unedited. I believe you’d find it worth your while.
“Don’t cry to give up, cry to keep going. Don’t cry to quit, you’re already in pain, you’re already hurt, get a reward from it.” Those are the famous words of Eric Thomas; an American motivational speaker, author and minister.
I learnt a big lesson from my nephew and I’d like to share that with you today. He’s as dogged as can be whenever he really wants something, trust me; he never backs down!
And I noticed something; every time he asks you and he’s turned down, he presses and asks again, again and again till somehow, even if it entails crying (which he holds a PhD in), you’d give in to his demands.
Well, sometimes, he’s spurned in the sternest ways possible, and then he retreats and uh… gives… up… for a while and then he torments the hell out of you when he’s back.
That’s just how awesome he is. But what does that teach him? “If I don’t get what I want, I’LL KEEP PRESSING!” He’s not spoilt, don’t get me wrong and doesn’t just want any and everything, no. But do you know if he realized that it is a great skill to improve upon, he’d never lose it? Ever!
My nephew knows two things; one, “I’ll keep pressing until I get what I want”. And two, “even if I cry, it’s not a sign that it’s over. I can still get that thing”.
What he doesn’t know however, is that the more he pursues something to the very end, little by little, he engrains into his subconscious that everything is attainable.
Every child is born that way, with that fire never to give up. So if you’ve found yourself throwing in the towel pretty easily, it’s not your fault and I’ll tell you why in a bit.
And just because it isn’t your fault doesn’t mean that it’s an excuse for whatsoever is going on with you now. You’re responsible for your success or failure, deal with it.
Now, how’s this mindset of giving up formed?
“Hey x, go to your room and don’t disturb me, else I beat the hell out of you.” And the child goes away very disappointed and unmotivated to even ask again because of the fear of being punished.
But little by little, similar or even worse confidence shattering experiences and it spreads through other aspects of their lives and most of them grow up very lazy and uninspired about life, easily giving up on things at the first sign of difficulty.
Of course, some children respond differently to rejection. It builds some up and may tear others apart. But since every child is born with grit, and some may grow up with weak persistence, I strongly believe that it is their reaction towards rejection that either molds of destroys them as they grow up.
What reactions? What do you do that weakens your will to pursue things and not just sit and cry about it all night? What can you do to develop more grit if you’ve given up and changed more dreams than you’ve changed your clothes?
It’s simple (but not easy)… JUST DO IT. Believe it or not, that’s it. But do what exactly?
You set your alarm for 5 o’clock in the morning and it goes off and you hit the snooze button. Do you know what you just did? You just enfeebled your persistence.
You let sleep beat you and like it or not, it’s you against anything else. It’s you against sleep, you against the T.V, you against movies, football, you name it.
When they win, they’re strengthened and you are weakened in the process and vice-versa. Long-term habits are best corrected by short steps, but in this case, a single step – Feed your persistence, don’t starve it.
Don’t leave that project undone; you don’t always have to be a “deadliner.” It’s not always easy, if it were, then what’s the deal? Everyone would’ve been successful. And therefore no need to even care about self-improvement.
You may ask, “Hey, how does waking up at 5 o’clock for example and being disciplined in other everyday activities equip me to handling rejection?”
I say that both are hinged around two things; your feelings and mindset. You feel tired, you think you can’t work yet, you go back to sleep.
You feel like a loser, you think there is no more hope, and you’re toast.
Those feelings and can be tricked into believing that they’re not important and that you can do whatsoever you want to without them; like in the case of waking up even though you’re tired. It’s best if you treat your feelings separately from you. I’m not saying that feelings don’t matter, but learn to act irrespective of them.
That mindset can be tricked into believing that no matter what comes your way, you crush. Same example, you wake up even if you think you can’t work yet, and after a while your mindset is accustomed to blasting challenges. But do not ever treat your mindset separately from you, it’s who you are.
Your persistence is elastic. It stretches, and the more challenges you can take on, the more your capacity to endure, persist, and to hold on no matter the circumstances enlarges.
Tell me why most successful people that were once on the street can take more pain? It’s a part of them. Why not hone that ability to move on and not just cry about it and not waiting for life to force you to learn one of the most important lessons you’ll ever need on your road to success? Don’t cry, keep moving. Feed your strength; increase the capacity on how much you can take as a person.
Thank you for taking some time out to read this thought. Wishing you the very best of this festive season and many more chickens to come.
And… yeah, I’d like to hear your thoughts. So you’re welcome to comment, which will be highly appreciated. Thank you, and have a wonderful day. Just punch someone today in the spirit of love. Happy Boxing Day!