Today as I sit here, drinking my coffee, I realize that I haven’t written anything on my blog in almost a month. I’ve been racking my brain, desperately trying to find some show-stopping, attention-grabbing words that will significantly speak to my readers.
But they’ve yet to come to me. And I’ve yet to type a single sentence.
What has come to me instead is that voice. The one that tells me I have children to care for and laundry to fold and groceries to be bought and dinner to be made and a house to clean. The one that says “you’ll never be the writer you want to be, because you’re not good enough,” or “there’s just no time for this” or “forget it, this writing thing just isn’t working out like it should.”
Do you know that voice?
It’s the same voice that breeds failure. The one that convinces us to just quit when things get overwhelming and hard—to just give up on the same dreams and goals that coax us out of bed each morning.
It’s the reason why so many of us sometimes don’t accomplish the things we set out do: we simply give in to that awful voice, and we give up.
We generally don’t begin something with the intent to give up, and yet it happens. Because we’re human. We get frustrated. Life swoops in and sets us back a few steps. We have responsibilities and obligations that steer us off course. We want an “easy” button that we never can seem to find.
And that voice continuously calls to us, telling us that we just can’t do it. For one reason or another, it just isn’t working out like it should.
So we do what comes naturally… we quit.
Friends, instead of coffee, let me offer you a little virtual cup of encouragement today. Whatever is it that you’ve set out to do, please… don’t give up. Goals and dreams are the stuff of life. Without them, we are hollow. Empty.
The pursuit of goals and dreams fills up our souls and makes us who we really are. It gives us something to look forward to each day. It gives us great joy as we envision our success. And perhaps most importantly, it brings the opportunity to fail, which teaches us the most meaningful of life lessons—how to bounce back and keep going.
How not to give up.
Let me remind you that people have changed the world with pure perseverance.
Here are just a few examples:
-John Grisham’s first novel, A Time to Kill, was rejected by 28 publishers before it was finally picked up by an unknown publisher. Today, he is one of the most famous and influential novelists of all-time.
-Oprah Winfrey was once demoted from her primetime spot as a co-anchor at a Baltimore news station. Enough said.
-Jay Z was once told his music was “terrible” and rejected by numerous record labels. Today, we can’t imagine the music world without him.
-Johnny Carrabba (founder of the Carrabba’s restaurant chain) was turned down by nine out of ten banks before he opened his first restaurant. We’d be missing out on some seriously good Italian if he hadn’t kept trying.
-Michael Jordan didn’t make his high school’s varsity basketball team as a sophomore, because he was deemed “too short.” Six NBA titles later, this six-time NBA Finals MVP is unquestionably one of the best players to ever play the game of basketball.
-Steven Spielberg was rejected from USC’s film school. Jurassic Park. Jaws. E.T. Saving Private Ryan. Lincoln. Raiders of the Lost Ark. Just a few of Spielberg’s hit films. Need I say more?
Imagine how different the world would be if these amazing people had listened that awful voice—and just quit.
Friends, I’m not saying that we all need to (or even want to) go on to achieve great fame. I’m simply saying that, whatever dream you’re pursuing… please… don’t give up. Don’t listen to that voice.
If I had listened to the voice, I wouldn’t be writing this today. And I’m hoping that my perseverance is paying off. I’m hoping that my readers will continue to read and share my work. I’m hoping that staying with it will take me—and my readers— to some great places in the future.
Because perseverance is powerful.
So tell that awful voice where to go and get to work. Keep on keeping on. You never know where the road ahead might lead you…. unless you quit.