post written by: Marc Chernoff

9 Things to Think About Before You Give Up

9 Things to Think About Before You Give Up

If you feel like you’re at the end the road with nowhere to go, realize you are lying to yourself.  You have imprisoned yourself in your own mind by telling self-defeating stories – stories about what your life should be like, what you should have already accomplished, and so forth.  By doing this you’ve created a tiny space in your mind and you’ve begun to believe you are actually living in it.

But you are NOT.  You are alive in a vast world with infinite destinations.  Take a moment to remind yourself of this.  Go outside.  Look at the sky and the clouds.  THIS is the space in which you really live.  Breathe it in.  Then look at your current situation again.

Here are some things you need to consider before you give up:

  1. You never fail until you’re satisfied with failure. – Failure is not falling down; failure is staying down when you have the choice to get back up.  Sometimes you have to fail a thousand times to succeed.  Which means you haven’t really failed yet; you’ve just found a bunch of ways that don’t work.  So don’t get so hung up on a few failed attempts that you miss every new opportunity coming your way.  All of your ideas that don’t work are simply stepping stones on your way to the one idea that does.  As Winston Churchill once said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”  Read Awaken the Giant Within.
  2. What you have learned is what’s important. – Life always offers you a second chance – it’s called tomorrow.  But this second chance doesn’t mean anything if you haven’t learned from the events of today.  You have to acknowledge your troubles but gather strength from them, and laugh at your mistakes but learn from them.  Getting a second chance in life is about giving yourself the opportunity to grow beyond your past failures.  It’s about learning as you go and positively adjusting your attitude and efforts toward future possibilities.
  3. Tough times are just part of life’s natural balance. – Life lives, life dies.  Life laughs, life cries.  Life gives up and life tries.  And life looks different through everyone’s eyes.  In fact, who you were, who you are, and who you will become are three completely different people.  And as you gradually grow beyond the person you were yesterday, keep life’s challenges in perspective.  Hear life’s harmony, and notice the delicate balance.  Realize that life is like playing a grand piano.  The white keys create your happiness and the black keys denote your troubles.  But as you go through life’s journey, remember that the black keys also create music.
  4. Pain helps you grow. – Sometimes things must change so you can change.  Sometimes you must break a little so you can get a peek inside to see what an awesome powerhouse you are.  Sometimes mistakes must be made so wisdom can be earned.  Sometimes you must overcome heartache so you can begin to follow your heart again.
  5. Success is a way of living. – Don’t let your struggles become your identity.  Not everything in your life will go as you expect it to.  This is why you need to drop expectations, live in the present, and go with the flow, rather than against it.  Remind yourself that it’s perfectly okay not to be perfect.  Ultimately, success is not something you achieve, it is what you learn and how you grow as you deal with the realities of life – it is a way of living and being.  Read As a Man Thinketh.
  6. You can choose differently. – The difference between a mountain and a molehill is your perspective.  And in many cases, the only thing in life you have control over is your perspective.  No matter what happens, YOU control what the meaning is, and what to do with the meaning you give to the circumstance.  Choose to react in a way that motivates happiness, love, or forgiveness, even when circumstances make that choice difficult.
  7. It’s not supposed to be easy. – Just because you’re not where you want to be today doesn’t mean you won’t be there someday.  Again, success is tied to long-term determination.  Successful people keep moving and trying.  They make mistakes, but they do not quit.  If things in your life aren’t happening as planned right now, that’s okay.  It just means it’s not the right time.  Life’s brick walls are not there to keep you out, they’re there to give you a chance to show how badly you want something.  They’re there to stop the people who don’t want it as bad as you do.
  8. Simplify, simplify, simplify. – Like all magnificent things, life is quite simple.  Its simplicity is found not in seeing how little you can get by with – that’s poverty – but how efficiently you can conquer your biggest difficulties.  Remember, the greatest wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.  Your most significant ideas and accomplishments will be genius in their simplicity.  One day you will find the right words, the right decisions, and the right solutions that will lead you to victory, and they will be far simpler than they seem right now.  Read The Power of Less.
  9. Life is still good. – You may have seen better days, but you have also seen worse.  You might not have all your wants, but you do have all your needs.  You woke up with a few aches and pains, but you woke up.  Your life may not be perfect, but it is good.  And more good things are coming down the road as long as you keep moving forward.

Photo by: J.T. Noriega

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  • GREAT BLOG!!! #1 and #7 we’re just the motivation I needed to pick myself up and give my top goal of the year another shot.

    Thank you for the push. Seriously.

  • Beyond love! Keeping on keeping on… one step at a time. The best is yet to be.

  • Love it! I’m so thankful to have found your site. Each and every piece of advice you give is different from all the other inspirational sites I’ve seen. I’m grateful for each of them, but most of thehm say what’s expected… you keep me guessing and fill me with a new light of knowledge. THANK YOU!!

  • Helpful ideas. I would also add that it is important to be consistent. One of my weak points is that I am not consistent and little things can distract me easily. I don’t know how to overcome it. I plan vigorously but something, somewhere distracts me and destroys my ‘mood’ and then I drift. If any of you have suggestions I would be thankful.

  • This is fab. I specially like the piano example. Sums up life perfectly.

    I also want to thank you. There was a time in life when I wanted to give up on my dreams. I used to read your blog daily and it was the only thing that motivated me to be persistent. And today I am glad I didn’t give up.

  • Simply love this. It speaks my thoughts.

  • Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  • Great article-I love the reminder that failure isn’t falling down-it’s failing to get back up again. If we forgave ourselves our falling down we’d free up SO much wasted energy.

  • Just lost my wife to cancer… this whole post truly makes so much sense and gives me hope. Thank you for the inspiration.

  • This one really struck me this morning. My partner and I have been dealing with some serious challenges with trying to make a move… and there have been many days when we want to say “enough” and just walk away.

    I do have a tendency to see those around me seemingly having these great lives, going on vacations having fun and being happy and we are in this struggle just to make a move to a different life. I sometimes question if we should give it another shot, but deep down I know we must.

    So anyway, thanks.

  • As always, exactly where I’m at in my life and exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you!!

  • I love this one; I honestly don’t have a favorite. All are so appropriate.

  • Very unique and inspirational blog. Thanks very much, and I especially love this one madly.It helps me on how to handle my troubles beyond what words can tell.

  • I read all of your posts, but this is by far the best - really inspiring. Keep up the good work.


    You truly inspired me today with these words. Simply perfect.

  • So many good points. The ones that really hit home for me are “Pain Helps You Grow” and “You Can Choose Differently”.

    I totally agree that a little pain is necessary to improve you as a person and a lot of the time, this improvement is because you learn to look at pain from a more positive perspective. When you go through the pain at the time, it often seems like a really big deal. However, when you get yourself in a better frame of mind and look back at this perceived pain, you realize that you were making a lot more of it than was actually there. Then when you face pain in the future, you take this learning with you and gradually it becomes easier and easier to deal with as the past pain helps you build an increasingly positive outlook.

  • Another timely post. Thank you!

  • You have your one. Keep searching. And when you find that one, if after a time, after you’ve lived it, after you have loved it, it isn’t the one anymore, then you let go, and you follow the current to another place. That’s life. And if we don’t accept that, then we cannot evolve. We cannot enjoy. We cannot be happy.

  • I wait for your article eagerly three times a week - really inspiring. I have read all of them. Please keep writing and keep us motivated. It is helping me a lot to go through tough times.

  • I like #3-the black keys also make music-
    Right now, I question whether I should give up something I have worked very hard at accomplishing-for the 3rd time and settle for something less-I am especially torn because there is always someone in my life that I must say “no” to in order to reach a goal, and I feel torn between my guilt and ambition. At least when I read the words on this site-I have hope that I can go another day, and do not have to give up just yet. Thank you!!!

  • Excellent blog! Helpful advice for many. Just shared with a friend who’s going through some marital problem, she thanks you guys. Keep it up!

  • Great perspective. Reminds me of the Prophet by Kahlil Gibran - “The deeper the sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain.” Love it :)

  • THANK YOU!!! I needed this today! I got a ‘fail’ on an exam that I took BUT I got a clean bill of health at my skin cancer screening (I’m a survivor of 3.5 years!).

    I’m going to keep putting things into perspective, and I’m going to keep getting up when life knocks me down.

  • I read your blog at least 3 times a week, and I every post you put talks to me in some sense. I have gone through alot, and many times I want to give up, but your posts like today make it easier to know its not just me and to keep up with my strength and it will eventually come together

  • Excellent as usual.
    I live around many species of wild animals and they seldom if ever give up. I find some creatures without a foot, some maimed, and some diseased, but they never give up. They always struggle their hardest to survive. We humans are the only species who tend to give up. And humans are their own worst predators collectively and individually! Take time to look at the wild creatures around you, even if you are in the city. They work very hard, never complain (at least I can’t sense it…), and never give up.

  • Wonderful as usual! I’m learning so much about myself from your blog. :-)

  • Thank you for all the wonderful posts you have here… especially this one.

  • As per usual, awesome piece of writing… Love reading your blogs… One question I would ask: What exactly is failure? Do we actually fail at things?

  • Hi Marc and Angel,
    Just wanna let you guys know how inspiring ALL your blog posts are. I am trying to use them to change my perspective and find my true path in life. Really glad I stumbled onto your blog. One of the best things that has happened to me.

  • I feel like it’s been the toughest 6 weeks of my life… felt like I’ve hit rock bottom. Thank you for taking the time to make this wonderful post.

  • Giving up on anything is really easy. But continuing to do the same thing again and again even after failing for a lot of times is really a true challenge. Most of the people in this world fail for not being able to being so much confident on themselves or they don’t find any guide. The nine things you mentioned in this article is genuinely effective for all of them who are unable to get to their desired destination. I must say that the inspiration you provide through your blog is really amazing and unique in its own way.

  • As one who has literally lived life by the seat of my pants, I can readily attest to the emotional roller coaster that is Life. Been there, done that, and have turned many corners in my life, so I find this article inspiring. However, there is one crucial element missing…seeking, finding and maintaining a daily conscious contact with God - a higher power - that, to me, should be part of the list.

  • Wonderful post! Very true and inspiring. My main focus is to live everyday to the fullest! I have polio, so I have limitations, but I never let that stop me from accomplishing anything that I put my mind to!

  • This post is amazing. I definitely needed to read numbers 1, 7, and 9. Thank you!

  • Brilliant post, as usual :)

  • Thanks so much!
    Reading this blog made me feel so much better.

  • The “end of the road” can also be the beginning of another one!

  • Thank you for reposting this blog! It meant so much to me. After the death of my son several years ago, I thought I would be sad forever…but that wasn’t the case. I realized his loss is not my identity but part of my symphony…and like you said, the black keys on the piano blend with the white keys and you have the symphony of life.

  • Wow! Thank you so much for this. I really needed to read this.

  • Thanks so much for this blog!! I nearly cried after reading this. I came here by typing, “how to give up on life” in Google’s search box. Life is difficult right now and I’m really thankful for this post. It really motivated me and many people!! <3

  • I’ll do my best.

  • I needed to hear that, thanks so much. Things are tricky just now and I felt really fed up about it. But your words helped, I don’t feel so bad now. I’m going to have a much better day tomorrow. And when I get well again things won’t seem so bad. I’ll just have to keep trying and not worry so much. :)

  • Thank you so much for this. You have no idea how much it helped me. I was starting to feel like a failure because I still don’t know what I want to do with my life, but i am honestly trying my best.

  • Some of the best words I’ve ever read. Thanks. They put me somewhat back on my feet and now it’s time to try… again.

  • Thank you for the wisdom - I wanted to give up on life but I’m encouraged by your article to give it another try.

  • I just got a negative review at work and I’m feeling defeated about what the next couple of years will bring. I’m at an age where they lay people off for virtually anything and I still have a big mortgage, two car payments and I honestly don’t feel like I can survive losing my job right now - and I don’t even like my job. I’m trying to internalize some of these positive messages here. They do help. Wish me luck.

  • This post may just become my new homepage.

  • This post is so beautiful - such encouraging words. And this whole blog is very inspirational.

  • So inspiring. Thanks for this precious post.

  • Thank you for helping me rethink my life.

  • These are GREAT! It’s not a failure until you quit. Learn from your mistakes, but never give up. They are just stepping stones on your journey to your next success. When you are working through life’s lessons on your path to fulfill your life’s purpose, there will be many turns, bridges, traffic jams, and detours. You will always be exactly where you are supposed to be, so just keep going.

  • I like your website, but I’m not sure you realize how I found it. I googled “what if I just want to give up”, because I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. It will be five years in June, since my husband died in a car crash and I can’t seem to move forward. In fact, I don’t think I want to. The pain keeps me close to him.

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