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January 23, 2013

Why we give up so easily, and how to stay committed

never give up quotes

“My greatest point is my persistence. I never give up in a match. However down I am, I fight until the last ball. My list of matches shows that I have turned a great many so-called irretrievable defeats into victories.” – Bjorn Borg

“You can have anything you want if you are willing to give up the belief that you can’t have it.” –Robert Anthony

There’s this things called motivation. But, it depletes. You’ve experienced the depletion. It’s impossible to stop your mind when you’re motivated about a project and it’s equally impossible to keep doing it when it depletes. And that’s exactly the reason we procrastinate and eventually, when we find ourselves not getting anywhere, out of inaction, we give up and quit.

The thing worth understanding is, we constantly tell ourselves a story. When we tell our minds a new story, and the one that it loves to hear, the story of our heroism, our glory, our ideals, our ways, it gets motivated and tries to make effort to live up to that story.

But, in the mean time, the story keeps getting old. The story fades out of boredom. We don’t want to listen to the same stories again and again, do we? And that’s exactly how our mind behaves. It wants difference. It carves for the interesting.

And there’s also a stage in procrastination, where even interesting task feels boring and worth quitting, because you are no longer connected to the real story you, the real intention and imagination that gushed into your mind when you started.

We give up because we leave behind and gradually get disconnected from the reason we started the project in the first place.

And brain gets distracted. Unless we’ve focused intentions, it is quite impossible to keep yourself doing the same things again and again. And then again, what’s focus? Focus is being attentive to the same task, moving forward with the same story, and reaching a destiny.

If you want to learn to stay committed, learn to burn the bridges behind you. Tell yourself that awesomeness of your story repeatedly. If you want to stay committed to exercising everyday, keep reminding yourself about the rewards, about the end result.

And don’t just visualize the rewards, also keep yourself reminding about the positive progress you’re making every single day. You could create a cycle of motivation by repeatedly reminding yourself about the goals and also continuously reminding yourself about the progress you’re making.

The key to commitment though is not just about motivation. Even the most motivated person might want to stop procrastination if he finds gratification elsewhere. Now, you know that you need to keep yourself distracted.

Burn the bridges.

Remove the alternatives and your mind will show you an exact map. The lesser options you have, the clear will be your map to get the work done. And the clearer your map, the more excited you’ll be to pursue it. It’s when you leave no other choice that your mind starts creating the best efforts to pursue that goal and keep you stuck with it.

Oh, and you might find this never giving up quote handy – “Always remember, pain is temporary, pride is forever!” Photo by Jon Tunnel via Flickr