Do you easily give up?
“If you quit ONCE it becomes a habit.Never quit!!!”
― Michael Jordan Tweet this!
Aron Ralston loved the outdoors. He enjoyed hiking and mountain climbing and loved them so much that he left his job as a mechanical engineer for Intel to pursue his passion. Things went well for Aron as far as his outdoor life went until that fateful day of April 26th, 2003. A day that would forever change Aron’s life and everyone who would come to know his story.
Aron was hiking through Blue John Canyon on a hot April day. It was just like any other day for the adventurer and outdoors man until the unfortunate happened. While descending a slot canyon, a boulder he dislodged while climbing down crushed his right hand against the canyon wall.
Aron would spend the next five days and seven hours of his life trapped, doing everything he can to survive. After consuming whatever amount of food and water he had left, he was forced to drink his own urine. Out of sheer desperation, he tried his best to set himself free by amputating his trapped forearm but failed. He wasn’t expecting to survive the night so he started to carve his name and presumed date of death against the canyon wall, much like a tombstone, and started to videotape his final goodbyes to his family. No one knew where he was because he did not tell anyone about his activities that day so no one will be coming to look for him.
On Thursday, May 1st, he attempted to cut off his forearm once again after having an epiphany that he could break his radius and ulna by using a torque against his trapped hand. He performed the amputation for over an hour using a dull two-inch knife and by the stroke of a miracle, got himself free but that he still had to get back to his car which was 8 miles (13km) away. He climbed out of the slot canyon where he was trapped and had to rappel down a 65-foot sheer wall with one hand. He hiked out of the canyon on a hot, mid-day sun until he encountered a vacationing family who fed him and alerted the authorities. He was finally rescued six hours after amputating his arm.
Aron is now a motivational speaker and still continues to climb mountains whenever he can. He even became the first person to climb all 59 ranked and named Colorado’s fourteeners solo. This was a project he started in 1997 and resumed after the amputation.
His story was documented in his autobiography Between a Rock and a Hard Place which was also the subject of the 2010 film, 127 hours where he was portrayed by James Franco.
Aron could have easily given up at any point in those five days but his persistence and determination got him out of the tragic situation he was in. The odds were against him but he did not quit. His courage and heart is something truly admirable.
Like Aron, we all go through situations in life where our tenacity and strengths are tested. Unfortunately, unlike Aron, some of us choose the easier way out by quitting whatever it is that we have set out to do. Quitting should never be an option if we want to achieve something because we will never know the reward that awaits us if we give up before the race even ends.
Here are 5 reasons why you should not quit:
1. Nothing is Impossible
“Nothing is impossible because the word itself says I’m possible”– Audrey Hepburn Tweet this!
Ms. Hepburn couldn’t have said it better. Aron’s situation can be categorized as impossible but he proved that it wasn’t. Oftentimes, this excuse keeps us from getting to where we want to be. Yes, there are real difficult situations that seem insurmountable but they are in no way, impossible.
Everyone thought that putting a man on the moon was impossible until Neil Armstrong went for stroll. Saying that something is impossible is limiting belief and if you keep on telling yourself that something is impossible, the chances of you hitting your target is slim to none.
Yes, there are things that could never be achieved easily and may take years to achieve but if you quit now, you’ll never really know if it was achievable right?
Being busy doesn’t equate to being productive. I just want to get that off the table before we proceed because people seem to confuse one over the other.
There are so many clichés you can associate with hard work but the best one would have to be “you reap what you sow.” Every successful person will tell you that they are where they are now because they worked hard for it. It took them several failures, sleepless nights, and sacrifice to conquer their goals.
Greatness or success is not something that will be handed to you. These are things you will have to earn through hard work and practice. The problem with most of us is that the minute we experience difficulty or discomfort, we start to come up with excuses to not move forward.
If you are trying to lose weight for weeks but have not seen any significant progress. You were probably expecting to lose 10 lbs but when you checked the scale, you only lost 2 lbs. Instead of telling yourself that “this is difficult and I’m never going to meet my ideal weight”. tell yourself “wow, I lost two pounds. I should probably exercise more so I can shed more weight next week.” Small wins folks! Let those small wins motivate you further.
If you’re not making progress, look for alternative ways. Experiment. Do trial-and-error if you must but under no circumstance should you ever entertain the thought of giving up.
3, Failure is Part of the Journey
“If failure isn’t fatal, keep failing, keep playing the game, what do you have to lose?” — Seth Godin Tweet this!
If you consider failure as a result, chances you are you are the type who quits easily but if you consider failure as part of the journey, then you’re in the right direction.
Failure is part of every successful venture and everyone who has achieved success in their respective fields like Warren Buffett, Richard Branson, or Michael Jordan would be a testament to this. No one achieves great success without failing.
Failure should motivate you to try harder and not quit so don’t be scared of failing. Instead, welcome each setback as an opportunity to learn and be better at what you do.
4. Success Takes Time
Sometimes your patience can get the best of you and it’s easy to get discouraged when you’re not seeing the traction you were expecting to see before you even started. It’s helpful to understand that there’s no such thing as overnight success. Success takes time and people who won the lottery is not considered success but pure luck.
Take the case of Apple, one of the most successful companies founded by Steve Jobs. Apple was established in 1976 but it only became a household name with the advent of the Macintosh in 1984. Even then it struggled though the 80’s and 90’s. Apple is now considered a largely successful empire with its leading products like the iPhone and iPad so if you are starting a business and you’re not seeing immediate progress, don’t lose hope. Be creative and don’t quit on it just yet.
5. Don’t Rid Yourself the Chance to Enjoy Success
The best reason for you not to quit now is simply this:
By quitting now, you are robbing yourself the opportunity to experience the fruits of your labor and what success feels like. Tweet this!
When you are in a race, you’ll only get to know the taste of success once you get to the finish line. Regardless of whether you finish first or last, you won’t realize the value of your efforts if you don’t finish the race.
You’ve worked hard, you’ve made sacrifices, you’ve done all the preparations and then you’ll just throw those all away by quitting? That sounds awful! It’s like not playing to win but playing not to lose.
The fruits of your labor are waiting for you so finish what you started and don’t easily give up. Begin with the end in mind. Imagine what the end would look like and work towards this end. Make it your motivation and never stop until you get there.
Over to You
Are you a quitter? Have you ever had a goal that you gave up on but wished you didn’t?
I would love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment or tell you story below.
Originally published at lifeshowyouliveit.com on February 8, 2015.
Originally published at medium.com