You Must Resist the Urge to Quit


September 16, 2011   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Any worthwhile goal you set in your life will require time, blood, sweat, and tears. It will often be a thankless journey which is why so many people have a tendency to settle for less than what they really want or what they’re truly capable of. They can’t embrace the uncertainty.

The journey can be an emotional roller coaster and as a result people give into their temptation to quit. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of being judged., etc., are just a handful of the emotions that most people go through.

But if you can remember that there is usually a light at the end of a tunnel, a reason that the little voice in your head is telling you to move forward, you’ll find it in yourself to get through your darkest hours.

    1. Focus on Today
      You can’t predict what will happen tomorrow, a year from now or five years from now. As Eckhart Tolle wrote, “the present moment is all you have.” We have a tendency to live in the future when it comes to our goals and dreams and we tend to forget that if we quit today we’ll never accomplish what we set out to do tomorrow. The good thing about today is that we don’t have to accomplish our goal. We can just keep working on it. If you really want to quit, put it off for a day, and quit tomorrow. But, stick with your journey for today.


  • Take Action
    Action creates momentum around a goal. If you’ve been taking action consistently and suddenly quit you’ll notice that it’s going to be hard to get your momentum back. That’s why one of the best things you can do when you’re tempted to quit is to take action. You’ll start noticing that even the smallest action taken on a consistent basis will have a compounding effect. The smallest action can reignite your fire or give you hope that there is a light at end of the tunnel.



  • Look At How Far You’ve Come
    We tend to be quite hard on ourselves as human beings. We focus on all things we haven’t accomplished, all the things we lack, or all the things that are wrong with us. This tends to shape our life experience for the worse. When you look at any goal and are tempted to quit, look at the progress you’ve already made. If your goal is a touchdown, don’t look at how many yards you have left to go, but how many yards you’ve already run. This will give you the motivation to keep doing because you’ll see that you are in fact making progress.



  • Do One Thing Differently
    Albert Einstein famously defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Sometimes one small adjustment can make a huge difference in our lives. When we’re struggling with a goal, there’s no better time for experimentation. If something isn’t working then you have an opportunity to try something different. If what you try doesn’t work then move on to something else. There are countless stories of people who make their biggest breakthroughs right when they are on the verge of quitting because they try something different.



  • Detach from the Outcome
    When we’re attached to anything all our actions are driven by fear of failure and fear of loss. As a byproduct we produce sub-optimal results in our lives and increase our frustration and temptation to quit. But, when we have no attachment to the outcome or end result it becomes much easier to keep charging towards our goals.



  • Remember the Payoff
    I’ve said in the past that the payoff is often worth anything you have to go through if it means you ultimately get what you really want. When you do finally get everything you wanted, the adversity and uphill battles that you might be going through right now will not only be meaningless but you’ll be thankful that you resisted the temptation to quit.


The temptation to quit is something you will come across throughout your life. In fact if you look back over the course of your life you’ll notice that there were times you gave into the temptation and times when you resisted the temptation. Usually when you resist the temptation to quit, you’ll make your way to the light at the end of a dark tunnel.

Written on 9/16/2011 by Srinivas Rao. Srinivas is the author of the Skool of Life, where he writes about surfing, personal development, and things you never learned in school but should have. If you’re ready to to become a student, check out his FREE course on the 7 most valuable lessons they never taught in school. You can follow him on twitter @skooloflife. Photo Credit: kadluba



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