Don’t give up now


THERE are moments when you have felt like giving up. You are not alone, this happens to all of us. We usually call it giving up, giving in or throwing in the towel.


Most times, we just need one more step before we make a breakthrough. It took American inventor, Thomas Edison 10 000 attempts before he could make a functioning bulb.
Most times, we just need one more step before we make a breakthrough. It took American inventor, Thomas Edison 10 000 attempts before he could make a functioning bulb.

We do this when we feel the issue at hand is beyond our power, or the intended objective is taking longer than envisaged.

At times, we give up because our intended goals are not bearing fruit. At times, these reasons are justifiable enough, but at times, we just need one step before we break though.

Try 10 000 times before you give up

You might have heard the version of Thomas Edison in failing 10 000 times before succeeding in inventing a working light bulb. Just pose and think: 10 000 times? How any times have you tried?

Edison was quoted saying: “I have not failed 10 000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10 000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the way that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”

It took resilience, tenacity and temerity to stay in there. Every time I think of giving up, I always bring in the Edison phenomenon to mind.

Have you thought of giving up of late? How many times have you tried? It could be with you career, business; think of it, you might be giving up on a dream that’s going to impact and benefit generations.

Don’t try swallowing an elephant in one take

I have coached and mentored quite a number of would-be writers and authors.

Most of them have not published their books because they think 200 pages is the minimum, but that can become a mountain too steep to climb.

The simplest formula I give them is that they should not try to swallow an elephant in one take.

Instead of writing a big book, they can succeed in writing, for example, 300 words a day consistently.

We have to learn how to win in big things by doing small things in a great way. In success, the law of accumulated effort postulates that if you bring those small daily successes, they add up to become your big success.

Any mountain will be insurmountable as long as you want to get to the crest in one giant step. Take one step at a time. Quote number 21 of my book, Inspiration for Success (2015: 14), I say: “Greatness is not having it all at one go; it takes small daily steps and successes that add up to a great thing. These steps are accompanied by commitment, courage and perseverance.”

The miraculous story of a Chinese bamboo tree

The story of a Chinese bamboo tree sounds very unnatural. When you plant it, for the first four years, it does not grow, but you have to nurture it, fertilise it and water it daily.

Just think of it, doing the same mundane, laborious act, yet there is no fruit, let alone the tree to show for it?

In the fifth year, that’s when the seed geminates, and when it has sprung out, it takes five weeks for the bamboo tree to grow up to 27 metres. What a miracle!

There are lessons to be derived from the bamboo tree. The first four years, it develops a strong root system to support the outer bigger structure and its weight.

The root system helps it to survive harsh weather conditions. For you to have long lasting success, your foundation should be built on strong values, attitude, character and higher standards.

Secondly, the daily steps must be done religiously and rigorously. All far-reaching success takes those daily steps. It takes diligence, time and persistence. What small daily steps are you taking towards your goals?

Finally, it takes patience to water something you can’t see for four years. It takes faith for you to work on a dream that does not yield fruit immediately.

Keep going towards your goals in faith even though there could be nothing to show for what you are doing. Don’t give up! Water your dream until it sprouts out.

Fail right

Failing is inevitable. If ever you are trying to evade it, I might as well tell you that you are not ready for success. Giving up won’t solve anything.

You better fail trying to do the right thing. At times, you might be doing something, which you know it’s not right, and expecting right results.

It does not matter how hard you cry, crave, complain, castigate; if you do not respect the laws of success, you will fail. It’s just impossible.

I learnt at a tender age that you reap what you saw. We are given a great allegory in the Bible of the sower, who went to sow.

Four places are listed on where the seeds fell on. Namely: the rock, the way side, the thorny place and on good ground.

It’s obvious that when you implement the first three, you will not harvest. Success in life is when you do what’s necessary and right.

Carry your cross

At times, the pain we go through is necessary, even though it might not be pleasant. When your doctor has prescribed an injection for your illness, the only way for you to be cured is in having the injection. Yes, it painful, but it’s necessary.

We have two choices here between pain and pleasure. Most people go for the latter and forget that it is in pain where we get our success.

You must carry your cross. How? By rehearsing your success alone with no one watching, having less sleep because of your craft, reading longer and working hard on your passion.

Why we fail at times

At times, we fail because we lack skill. A wise man once said: “Remember: The duller the axe, the harder the work; Use your head: The more brains, the less muscle” (Ecclesiastes 10:10).

Secondly, ignorance is reason why we fail.

Examples of successful people that have failed

When someone becomes publicly successful, people seem to forget that the same people went through failing.

United States personality, Oprah Winfrey is a rich TV pundit, with a net worth of $3 billion, that’s according to Forbes magazine.

Winfrey was fired from her first television job in Baltimore. Edison is one of the greatest inventors of all time. It is said that his teacher told him that he was “too stupid to learn anything”.

At his death, he had over 1 000 patents to his name.

Keys to help you win despite failures

1. Keep pressing forward.
2. Be positive in face of storms/or adversity.
3. Develop right and relevant relationships to help you win and lift you up when you fall.
4. Learn the rules of success and endeavour to play better than everyone else.
5. Success is not one big jump, but those small daily successes based on our habits/ beliefs.
6. Develop an inner drive and determination
7. Stay passionate about life

Parting Point: Motivational Quotes

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm,” Winston Churchill.

“Don’t get discouraged; it is often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock,” Zig Ziglar.

“You can be in a storm, but don’t let the storm get in you,” Joel Osteen.

Jonah Nyoni is an author, success coach and leadership trainer. He is the author of Inspiration for Success and Success Within Reach.

Email: Twitter @jonahnyoni

Recent Posts

Stories you will enjoy

Recommended reading