Thursday, March 12, 2009

Never, never, never give up

Here is an article that I had saved on my computer, I regret not knowing whom to give credit to. It is however not written by me and I get no credit for it nor do I want any, just spreading the good word. I am sure I came across it while surfing the web and saved it for future motivational reading. I really like the point it makes. I hope we can all follow the advice given.

Never Give Up

I have frequently read about Winston Churchill's final speech. He was in his 90's, in very poor health, and had agreed to speak to his former high school pupils. On the day, when introduced in glowing terms, Winston Churchill slowly made his way to the podium, looked at the assembly and said, "Never give up; never, never, never give up."

It's a quotation you will find in many books and often used in training manuals and by motivational speakers seeking to inspire their audience. Winston Churchill spoke from a position of age and experience. There were many times throughout the course of his long-lived life that it seemed all over for him. In 1940, in the darkest days of World War II when Britain stood alone, he became the Prime Minister. His sentiment then, and later in life, was never to give up.

It begs the question never give up on exactly what? I intuitively know he means never give up trying, but upon personal reflection it's about never giving up hope. When you buy a book on self-improvement, on well being, or on weight loss, you are not buying a solution, you are buying the hope that the changes you seek may be realized.

I recently read about an experiment where 40 mice were put in an aquarium tank with no way to climb out. After two hours, whilst they paddled on the surface, 20 were removed at random and were then put in space where they could dry off and eat. They were then tagged and returned to the aquarium and left there. It was noted that the mice that had never been taken out of the tank, drowned within a few hours, but the mice that had been given a chance to dry and eat, continued in some cases up to three days before they drowned. The conclusion was that the mice who were taken out of the tank returned to the aquarium with the hope that they could survive, the hope that they could get out again. The other mice tired and without hope or a positive expectation – gave up.

I know several high altitude mountaineers and explorers and others who have been in survival experiences. They all agree that once hope is removed, it's very easy to give up, and at that point dying becomes the likely outcome. There are books that recount people who defied the odds and survived when the situation seemed hopeless; when their companions simply gave up and quickly passed away.

How often have you told yourself, "That's not fair," and the feeling of being a victim of circumstances made you feel like giving up? Not too often, I hope. If you focus on the negative aspects of the past or the present, it's easy to imagine that nothing will change. It's also the perfect reason why you must focus on a positive future, take actions that give you the hope and belief that things are going to be great, and never, never, never give up.

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