It happens to me several times a day. I want to quit. Just today, I wanted to quit finishing this blog post I was writing for The Art of Blogging.
Wanted to half-ass some of the exercises I had to do at the gym.
There is always something that demands me to be weak. This is just the nature of life. The temptation to quit is a recurring theme.
But, you see, the voices that tell you to take it easy on yourself are not aware of the fact that the dream is free. The hustle, on the other hand, is sold separately. Everything you truly want requires work. Hard work. An incredible amount of hard work.
What keeps me going is answering this question, “Why am I doing this?”
Most people quit because they don’t know how to answer this inevitable question that has brought many we will never know about to their knees.
When you are on the treadmill, sweating it out, and you want to quit, and you can’t remember you’re doing this because you want to lose weight, look good, be healthier, then you’re pretty much screwed.
Because the next step is to quit.
Here are some of the things that help me keep going when I want to throw in the towel:
- Make a list. Why do I want what I want? Why do I write? Why do I go to the gym? Why do I wake up every single day at 4:30 AM?
- The cookie jar. This is something David Goggins talks about. The cookie jar is basically a list of your achievements. What are you most proud of? What are some of the punches that life threw at you, but you still managed to survive? Don’t use them to feel good about yourself, but rather use them to keep going when you want to quit.
- Do it anyway. I know, it sounds like the most ridiculous advice ever, but force yourself to do it. Even if it sucks, even if you have to do it again after that, force yourself to get the job done.
- Exercise. Especially if it’s some cardio. Helps you think about what it is that you want to do, what needs to be done.
- Meditate. Sometimes we react emotionally (and make permanent decisions) to what could easily be fixed by spending 10 minutes to calm ourselves down.
- Listen to some music. This could very well set change your mood. Do not underestimate the power of music.
- Talk about it. Got a significant other, best friend, family member, co-worker you can talk to? If not, go online and read about folks who’ve been through the same struggles and kept going. Talking about your desire to quit can often be just what you need in order to figure out that you must keep pressing on. A moment of temporary weakness cannot outweigh the regret caused by quitting. Pain is temporary, regret permanent.
In what areas of your life are you tempted to quit? Why are you going to keep going? What is at stake?