What to do when I feel like giving up?

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Today, I am struggling. Maybe my struggle with consistency with something you care about will resonate with someone you know.

Since November 12, 2012, it has been 939 days. It has been 939 days since November 12, 2012. Every Monday and Thursday, during these 939 glorious but sometimes frustrating days, I wrote a new post. Week after week. Month after month. Jahr after year.

Today, I Feel Like Giving up

But what about today? Today, I’m struggling. Today I feel like not writing. Today I don’t feel like following a routine. Today I feel empty of great ideas and lack the time to execute them. Today I feel like giving in.

University of Pennsylvania research has found that success is closely linked to grit. I could use some of the grit in my life today.

These are the things I remind myself to do when I feel like giving in…

    • Your Mind is a Suggestion Engine

Every thought that you have is a suggestion and not a list. My mind suggests that I am tired right now. It’s suggesting that I should give up. It’s suggesting that I choose a simpler path.

However, if I take a moment to pause, I can find new ideas. My mind also suggests that I will feel great about completing this task once it is finished. This is a sign that I will be able to respect the identity I have created if I adhere to the schedule. It’s a sign that I can complete this task even if I don’t feel like it.

These suggestions are not orders. These suggestions are only options. I can choose which option to follow.

    • Discomfort is Temporary

You can do almost any habit in a fraction of the time it takes to complete your day or week. In an hour or so, your workout will be done. Tomorrow morning, your report will be completed. In a matter of seconds, this article will be completed.

It is much easier to live today than ever before. 300 years ago, it was impossible to build your own home and kill your own food. We complain about forgetting to charge our iPhones.

Maintain perspective. Your discomfort is temporary and your life is beautiful. Allow this moment of discomfort to strengthen you.

When you do good work, you will never regret it

Theodore Roosevelt once said that “far and away the greatest prize that life can offer is the opportunity to work hard at work that’s worth doing.” It seems like we all want to be able to do work that is enjoyable. While we want our work to be appreciated and helpful, we don’t want to have to struggle with our work. We want our stomachs to be flat, and our arms strong, but we don’t want to do another workout. We want the final product, not the failures that came before it. We want the final result, but not the grind.

A gold medal is something that anyone can desire. Few people would like to train like an Olympian.

Yet, despite all the resistance, I have never felt worse after putting in so much effort. Although there were times when it was hard to get started, it was always worth it. Sometimes it is just the act of showing up and being brave enough to do the work, no matter how small, that makes a victory worthwhile.

This is life

It is difficult to find the right balance in life between allowing yourself to be distracted and overcoming the pain that comes with discipline. This delicate balance is what defines our lives and identities. Life is nothing if it’s the sum of many thousand daily battles, tiny decisions to either get rid of it or keep it going.

The moment you feel tired and don’t want to do the work. This is not a time to be wasted. This is not a rehearsal. This is your moment. It is your moment.

What do I do if I feel defeated? I just show up?

Do I always show up at my best. I doubt it. However, my job is not to judge whether I’m good or bad.