When the Going Gets Tough...
“When the Going Gets Tough... "Never give up. Never give up. Never, never, never!” – Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister, Great Britain
When Winston Churchill uttered those words, Great Britainwas at its darkest hour during World War II. Much of Europehad already been conquered by Germany, including France, just a few miles across the English Channel. London, as well as other major cities in Great Britain, was being bombed regularly by German planes. The United Stateshad not yet entered the war, and Great Britainwas the last major western European power with the willingness and ability to resist the advancing German army.
As German bombers dropped destruction on Great Britainday after day after day, many were beginning to doubt the island’s ability to continue to resist. But Churchill knew the power of perseverance. He understood that fighting through this tough period would be the difference between winning the war and becoming the next victim of the German war machine.
Sometimes in our own lives we face tremendous challenges and are tempted to quit the fight. It always seems easier than continuing to struggle in what appears to be a lost cause. But like Churchill, we must be sure to evaluate the cost of quitting. He knew that if Great Britainsurrendered, Germanywould secure its control of Western Europeand be able to focus its sole attention on its one remaining threat on the continent – Russia. He also knew that if Great Britainsurrendered, the ability of the United Statesto enter the war and turn the tide would be greatly diminished. The cost of quitting was too high. Perseverance was the only option.
But what about the challenges we face? Most of us don’t have the responsibility of leading a nation in a time of war. Our problems seem much more mundane. After all, if we decide to quit taking martial arts classes and give up our goal of earning a black belt, is there really a cost? Good question. In this situation, the cost of quitting would include a loss of self-confidence.
This would result in lower self-esteem. And it would increase the chances that other important goals will not be reached. As legendary NFL coach Vince Lombardi said, “Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.”
Even in our own personal lives, perseverance is important. It is often the difference maker between success and failure. This is why world renowned author and consultant Dale Carnegie said, “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have
kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” When you quit, you lose the potential within you to accomplish something significant.
And if you make a mistake, or don’t progress as quickly as you would like, keep your eyes on the ultimate goal. Remember John Wannamaker’s advice, “No mistake or failure is as bad as to stop and not try again.”