With the conclusion of the Olympics we have been witnesses to great champions. We have been inspired by their performances and their determination. The age old adage is certainly true, "Winners never quit and quitters never win." Allyson Felix would not quit even after getting the 200 meter silver medal in both the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. She trained for another four years and was rewarded with the 200 meter gold medal. The true heart of a winner was seen when Leshinda Demus was interviewed after getting the silver medal in the 400 hurdles. She simply said, "You will see me at the 2016 Games, I will get that gold medal."
Quitting is not an option for champions, and yet for many of us it is a great temptation. We want to quit on our dreams, quit on our relationships, quit on our commitments. We live in an overload culture with too many activities, too many choices, too much information and too much change. We get fatigued from stress, conflict and wrong priorities. Though there are many reasons why we could quit deep down we know that quitting is not the answer. When you want to give up what can you do to keep from quitting?
Margin is the amount beyond what is needed, it is the leeway between ourselves and our limits. Margin is room to breathe, freedom to think, time to love. Lack of margin causes us to just survive instead of thriving. When we don't have margin in our lives we become prime candidates for quitting. The lack of margin means we have nothing left to fight with as we battle the challenges of life. We need margin in many different aspects of our lives. Margin is needed in our finances. Even if it is just an emergency fund at least there are some resources for unexpected costs. Margin is needed in our schedules so that there is time to respond to opportunities and time to rest from responsibilities. Margin is needed for emotional health and physical energy. To keep from quitting you simply must create margin in your life.
All of us deal with adversities in life. Life is difficult and presents challenges to everyone. One study reported that on average we experience 25 adversities a day. Those with the greatest amount of adversities were single parents and entrepreneurs. It is easy to see how the cumulative effect of adversity causes us to want to quit. Adversity must be faced with a sober sense of reality. A good question to ask would be, "What does life look like on the other side of this?" Unrealistic expectations can cause us to want to give up. We need to manage expectations by accepting the reality of adversity. Training to be resilient for the inevitable challenges of life will positively help you in continuing to move forward.
Another response to the temptation of quitting is to improvise. We need to improvise not quit. Improvisation is a skill that must be developed to deal with the adversities of life. Ask yourself, "What can I do to contain or limit the reach of this adversity?" The answer to that question can keep you from giving up. Wanting to quit may be a sign that a new approach is needed that has not been considered before. For so many reasons quitting is never the best choice in life. Quitters never win and the sting of that kind of personal defeat can linger for a long time. The apostle Paul put it best in Philippians when he wrote, "I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize. I forget what is behind and I struggle for what is ahead."
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