Sometimes I want to give up. Give up on what, you ask? Well, on ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING, for starters. But more specifically, I'm always cycling through periods where I want to give up on my aspirations and dreams. What are my dreams? My dreams are to make a living on my writing (memoir, plays, poetry, articles, reviews, blogs, a little short fiction) while traveling around as an art and literature loving nomad. Oh, and to do this in a way that's not leaving me living penny to penny as I have done, oh, let's see, yes, that's right, since birth.
But lately, as happens every so often, I want to give up. I find myself curled up in bed, in an alarming state of un-showeredness, watching Netflix rather than doing work. I find myself making lists of things to get done and then aimlessly wandering on Facebook instead, when normally I am an absolute slave to my To Do Lists. I find myself bullying myself and beating myself about the head and shoulders with words such as "Failure." I find myself water boarding myself with my own frustrated tears, which is technically impossible to do, but you get the picture. And, I find myself giving in to all the messages of the outside world that tell me I should just stick to the status quo where it's safe and secure – where one is far less likely to end up dying in the gutter clutching a sack of notebooks and leaking pens.
Everyone's got hopes, aspirations, and dreams – whether that is to travel the world, write a book, become a singer, get a real estate license, put your kids through college, put yourself through college, or just to be able to feed your family three healthy meals a day. OR just to somehow find a sweet piece of happiness in this crazy ole world.
Everyone hopes, and everyone gives up hope.
The trick is not that we must require ourselves to stay positive every second of every day and never consider giving up, because that's really, as far as I can tell, an unobtainable goal. The trick is, as soon as is possible, to then turn back around and Give Up On Giving Up. To pull up those boot straps and climb back in that blazing, golden saddle of dreams and possibilities. Now, please note that I'm allowed to spout annoyingly inspirational things such as this because I'm not some millionaire with a $300 hair cut. I'm down here in the trenches wearing long johns and sporting a head of hair that I've been cutting myself for the past 20 years.
So on to more inspiration spouts.
I've just barely begun my boot straps operation as of yesterday, so I thought I'd share a couple thoughts below to encourage anyone else who is currently languishing in the icy grips of discouragement.
1) Sometimes, the most satisfying way to encourage ourselves is to give encouragement to someone else who needs it, so look around and scout out a person who could use a kind word. They're everywhere.
2) Right now, write down in your day planner one thing that you could do to start moving again toward your goals. What's the one thing that first comes to you as being one strong step you could take today? Now, write that down and set to doing it as soon as possible. Yesterday, I wrote down that I could revise a pitch letter for an article that I was working on. I revised the pitch and then sent it today.
3) If your step is a big step, take a moment and write directly under it all the micro-steps you would need to take to accomplish the big step. Now write one micro-step on each day of the week in the planner. Begin doing the first one now. Today. See, now we're cookin with heat!
4) Here are a few quotes about not giving up to get you stoked:
"When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, til it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time the tides will turn."
"If you really believe in what you're doing, work hard, take nothing personally, and if something blocks one route, find another. Never give up."
"Never give up. And never, under any circumstances, face the facts." Ruth Gordon
"Never give up. Never give up. Never give up!" Winston Churchill
Finally, I have some vision of people leaving their stories of not giving up in the comments, so please feel free to share that or anything else! Now go forth and prosper, friends, and, you guessed it: Never Give Up!
If you like this post, you may also like:
Never Give Up II (Inspired Version):
Never Give Up II (Inspired Version):
Excerpt #1 From my Memoir:
The State of My Union
Why I Decided to Self-Publish and Other Tales of Doom and Angelic Hope
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