13 Pretty Good Reasons You Should Give Up

I sat there, confused.

I hoped it wasn’t worse than I expected.

The sweltering Southern evening, along with the heat of the engine, seemed to be melting my brain into an irrational state.

Something was wrong with my car and I needed to fix it. Try to fix it, at least.

I’m far from handyman status, but I knew that searching the Internet and checking on a few basic components under the hood and behind panels might be worth it to save a few bucks. If at all possible, I was going to avoid paying a mechanic for a simple problem. Or what I thought was a simple problem.

I quickly ran out of ideas. I did what the websites recommended. I even read the user’s manual (desperate times call for…).

I wanted to give up. I almost did.

We all face decisions like this every day.

13 Pretty Good Reasons You Should Give Up

  • You don’t want to learn.
  • You’re tired.
  • You’re bored.
  • You don’t want to stick with a problem all the way through resolution.
  • You want to move to easier problems.
  • You want to ignore the big hurdles that are keeping you back from doing your best work.
  • You sincerely don’t care that much about the outcome or what it will do to other people.
  • You think the world is better with more problems and less solutions.
  • You’d rather rest in familiarity than explore new possibilities.
  • You’re afraid you’ll have to completely change your life or your work if you actually follow through.
  • You’d rather stay comfortable in the way things are instead of achieving how things could or should be.
  • You don’t want the responsibility associated with one project for a long time.
  • Doing one thing with excellence is less important to you than doing many things poorly.

Of course, most of these are silly.

We all want to solve problems. We all want to learn from difficult problems and persevere through challenging issues.

It’s just that sometimes the only thing we can think to do is give up.

When You Don’t Give Up

Back at my car in the driveway, I discovered something.

The fuse box by the steering column looked fine. No burnt out fuses there.

I thought the problem was something bigger that I couldn’t see or fix.

But in my last ditch effort, I popped the hood and checked the other fuse box.

(Yeah, I didn’t know there were more than one fuse box in a car, either.)

And when I checked these fuses, I found the issue.

The connection was severed.

And that’s all that stood in my way. I replaced the fuses, turned on the car, and the problem disappeared.

I stumbled my way into success.

Keep Going

I wonder if we held on a little longer, kept working the angles, kept trying one more approach, and another, we might actually make some progress.

When we’re hiking up a mountain, the steepest inclines are right before the ridge. Amazing views are sure to greet us, but only if we don’t give up.

In the final steps, when we’re dead tired and barely even want to be at the top, just hang on.

When we don’t give up, we get a better perspective on the whole situation.

When we persevere and stick with it, we won’t always succeed in the ways we thought we would. But we’ll fail forward and succeed in learning more about the problem. And maybe we’ll learn principles that help us solve other problems in other parts of our lives, too.

Maybe the solution is just on the other side of a broken connection. If we don’t give up, we can get there.


Do you have a story (big or small) of not giving up?


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