My parents had a strict rule when it came to sports, other extracurriculars, and really any commitment my siblings and I had. We weren’t allowed to give up in-season. If we wanted to stop an activity after the completion of a year, season, or whatever the official cycle was, that was okay. But in-season? Nope. We weren’t allowed to quit. We weren’t allowed to give up—not on ourselves, not on our teammates, not on the task at hand.
At the time, we all hated that rule. There were so many things we wanted to give up, either because we lost interest or because things got uncomfortably hard. Now? We’re grateful our parents made us see things through. To this day, it helps us navigate situations with relative ease where others struggle. The same can be true for you.
If you tend to quit the races you run, it’s time to give up the habit of giving up.
You can’t win if you take yourself out the race
Be it in school, the workplace, or at home, many people fail to achieve their goals because they stop giving effort. They lose the races they run because they stop running. Because they give up. Because they accept failure.
That’s what giving up is: the acceptance of failure. After all, if you stop running before reaching the finish line, you’re accepting worse than defeat. By quitting, you’re not just ensuring you don’t “win”—you’re ensuring you don’t place at all. Instead of shooting for the moon and landing among the stars, you’re hurtling back to the ground before you ever leave orbit.
Whatever you commit to, you should see through. Even if you don’t like what you commit to. It’s okay to not like it! And if you don’t like it, you don’t have to continue with it beyond your commitment. For instance, a high school senior on the basketball team doesn’t have to go on to play in college. If they don’t want to, they shouldn’t try to. At the same time, however, if the senior gets benched halfway into their senior year, they shouldn’t quit right then and there. If they do, they’re giving up, not just choosing when to stop.
There’s a difference. Choosing to stop is stopping because you think it’s best for you to do so. Giving up is stopping because things got hard. One is respectable. The other is usually deplorable.
Whatever goals you’re chasing, whatever races you’re running, make sure you don’t give up. Stay in the race. Run through the finish line. And if you realize you need to change events, do so in-between races. Finish what you start. And only start what you plan to finish.