I speak with people often on a variety of subjects. Sometimes people ask me about living a more positive and rewarding life. On occasion people ask me about my relationship and how they can also have a fabulous one. I also hear from people after my seminars and people who have read my book A Happy Life for Busy People here is something I hear a lot, “Neil I have tried to achieve this goal, but it didn’t work” I then asked them how many different things they have tried. Usually they look at me slightly confused and give me an answer ranging from one to three. I then share with them a fact I find truly amazing. Edison had tried over 10,000 different items to make a filament for a light bulb. When asked if he was upset by failing so many times he replied “I just learned 10,000 ways to not make a light bulb” I am not sure to many of us would try 10,000 times to make the perfect cake or a tasty dinner.
When trying to promote my book or seminars I often think of this story. How much further would we be set back if Edison had given up? How much longer would we be without the light bulb? You may say “well that’s not me, I couldn’t do that”. I am hear to tell you that you used to do it. What do I mean by that? Let me ask you this, how may times as a baby did you fall before you learned to walk? Did you give up and say “this walking thing might not be for me” You see all of us begin life with a determination to succeed at our goals. If we didn’t there would be a lot of adults out there crawling around.
So how do we develop a determination to match Edison? I believe the answer is two-fold. First, develop a strong enough why. If the reason to succeed is important enough to you the how will be found. Second, remember if you as a baby didn’t give up, why would the adult. Is it because we have learned to accept failure? Is it because it is easier to give up? Perhaps we are just not as focused on what we stand to gain by our success or lose by our giving up.
I am going to leave you with one thought and a quote to take away from this. The biggest area I hear this in is relationships. People tell me they tried to make their partners happy or bring the passion back to their relationship, but it just ‘didn’t work’. I always ask, how many things did they try? Think of how important your goal is, what you stand to gain and what you stand to lose. Think of all you didn’t give up on when you were young. Reading, writing, learning your language. How would your life be different if you had just tried once we these things? Remember if you find yourself giving up, even determination is something you have to be determined to succeed at.
Here is the quote I promised you. It comes from the famous baseball player Babe Ruth
“You just can’t beat the person who won’t give up”