Giving up is easy to do because we become worn out from trying. The high school student who cannot make the ball team or the college student who fails college algebra three times is frustrated. Everyone in life hits a few walls. We tried once or twice and failed and then moved on to something else.
Failing quickly is not so bad. It’s better to fail, get it over with and then move on than to fail and fail and fail and then die failing at the same thing we failed at our entire lives. It’s good to try but it’s also good to move on to something else.
Abraham Lincoln failed a lot but was eventually elected President of the United States. Some candidates will run for election a lot and never be elected. Every person who ran for President this year will probably never be elected to the Oval Office except one person. The rest will be reelected to something else or go back to what they were doing before. It’s simply the life of politics.
Michel Jordan once failed to make his high school basketball team his sophomore year. However, determination in his case paid off as he eventually became one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
We have to know when to hold them and know when to fold them is what I heard Kenny Rogers sing one time. Often the decision is easy because we run out of time to try. Life ends and we’re done. Sometimes we run out of energy and health. We simply aren’t capable of trying anymore. Sometimes we are done emotionally. We’re on empty and there is nothing replenishing our internal fortitude. Often we run out of money. Financially we have to give up and do something that works. Doing something that works is never a bad path to take.
A big part of staying with anything is if we enjoy it. I heard another song one time that had this line in it, “It’s only Rock N Roll but I like it.” We can stay with most anything in life if we enjoy what we are doing. People stay in imperfect marriages because of love. People drive by ten churches to attend one far away because they feel love and included. Musicians keep trying to sing, write songs because it’s something they enjoy. My dad was a coal miner. He worked in an underground coal mine for 30 years. He retired at the age of 55 for a $600 a month United Mine Workers pension. He was tired of it and wanted to do something else. He lived 30 more years and had opportunities to hunt, fish and enjoy life. There are some things we do a long time in life and we just get sick and tired of it. We determine it’s time to move on to something else.
Here is the clincher to today’s column. Essentially, you must decide and you must be happy about it. Lots of people will tell you what they think you ought to do. It’s not a bad thing to listen to people because often people might have good input as to whether you are any good at what you are trying to do. However, you are the one who has to live the life, walk the journey and deal with your own life and thoughts at 3:00 AM in the morning. The bottom line is doing what makes you happy. As long as what you are doing is legal, doesn’t hurt anybody else and brings some fulfillment to your life then what do you have to lose?
Glenn Mollette is a syndicated columnist and author of eleven books. He is read in all 50 states. Contact him at [email protected]