Give Up — Never or Now

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Photo | Zhanna Krukovets | Amazing

To not give up is not a one-time decision. We must decide to keep going every time a new struggle rears its head.  

We’ve all heard the never give up speech. The message is typical. It is simple, striking and when channeled with enough enthusiasm the idea is enough to fuse the masses. But what does it mean? What does “giving up” really mean?

Giving up is tricky business. The thing is altogether a mental game, a full-on battle of the mind. We can’t really see it by looking at someone from the outside. We don’t really know if a person has thrown in the towel or not, though they may continue to do something we don’t know if it’s ritual or real forward motion.

Not giving up is an ongoing process rather than a constant state, that’s probably why Churchill thought it necessary to emphasize the word “never” by repeating it nine times in his short “Never Give In” speech. A person doesn’t decide to not give up just once. The decision must get repeated over and over. Once the decision is made, it carries us through a moment or project and then some other struggle comes up and we have to decide again.

Again we move forward till we face the next resistance and the battle begins again. The act of not giving up can get automatized, to flow like an ingrained habit.But that may not be best. Each decision to keep going should be made with fresh eyes and vigor because mere habit may lead us to keep going even in cases when we are heading in the wrong direction. You should never give in a struggle that is on point, but you should always give up the battle that you should not be fighting in the first place.

When the battle is right, the person who keeps going, daunted by neither victory nor defeat, is a wonder to enchant us all. Just look around— every man-made thing of consequence was created by such a person. A person who did not give up.