Giving up is Not Just About You

We often find ourselves in situations where we think that we are all alone or that we can only rely on ourselves to accomplish a certain goal.  It is in these times that we make the decision that giving up is the only option, and we should make a conscious effort to give up rather than risk failure.  I think sometimes we fail to realize that when we say "I give up"  or “I quit” (except when it relates to bad habits or bad ideas) we are not just giving up and quitting on ourselves, we are giving up on everyone else around us. We are quitting and giving up on all who may rely on us. When we  quit, we are underestimating the potential of everyone that surrounds us. I have thought about a life where I am completely alone, a life where quitting only affects me, This life is appealing for about a week after which it becomes boring and pointless.  I think a solitary existence is wasted. It is human to share, no matter how small or mundane. When I have an amazing meal, it is made even more so when I share it with someone. When I discover a cool trick, I can’t wait to share it someone and watch as their face lights up. When I have only a dollar and I think there is no way I can get something satisfactory from just a dollar, I give away fifty cents (I bet you thought I would give away the whole dollar, I’m still evolving) Everything we do affects someone around us, quitting is no exception.

I will take a very simple example to prove this. Since the start of the year I have been posting weekly challenges on my Facebook page.  These challenges are nothing extraordinary, they are merely an attempt to take some time to do a few things that wouldn't ordinarily pop up in my day.  After a couple of challenges, I had one friend openly join my challenges. I also had a couple of people text me to say they would also join but there was yet another person who was silently following along and participating.  In the place of my week 8 challenge, I posted the following:

I am abandoning all weekly challenges. That's right...i'm giving up, quitting, throwing in the towel, abandoning the goal, withdrawing, wrapping up, resigning, retiring, abdicating, hanging it up, walking out, flaking out, surrendering to defeat.

I had no intention of actually quitting my weekly challenges, I was thinking about quitting as a “concept” and since I was home on a Monday feeling like my body  was about to quit, I thought I’d write about quitting. Now, though my friends who found something interesting in my challenges would still continue to breathe and carry on after I quit, a tiny part of their life is somehow different. In the grand scheme of things, these challenges are not a big part of anyone’s life. But lest you forget, a big life is made up of tiny things and it is virtually impossible to estimate how changing one small part of someone’s life will affect the remaining small parts.  When next you feel like quitting or giving up, simply try it another way or ask for a little help.

I often hear "Giving up is easy," I think that is only the case when you are unaware of all the people you affect.

Posted on June 10, 2011 .