I believe the cause for quitting, the end of perseverance, is a misguided single commitment to strain, struggle, and sacrifice. All three are necessary, however. Listen to the demands of your amygdala, force feed your day through an impossible schedule created by you and a twinkle of doubt will slip in. Faith moves mountains and doubt creates them. There is another way, the way of effortlessness.
When I was young my father modeled context and point of view as the way to deal with any situation. Up until the day he died at nearly 93, he modeled an open and willing to listen attitude. It is not what we think [believe] the problem is, the problem is our thinking. The short version is ‘you can’t fix stupid.’ Every time Dad would say, “What you like least in others is what you like least in yourself”, I paid attention. Every time it was true. Still is. It was much later that I realized what I liked about people, what I saw in them that I appreciated, was also in me. How else would you see it? Inside all the mind chatter some whisper of a voice nudged me to see and turn left here or turn around or just be still. I named the path ‘following the breadcrumbs’ after “give us this day our daily bread”.
In my teens I realized the source and cause for every upset, disappointment, anger, and discouragement were MY “expectations”. Some form of ‘This shouldn’t be this way…’ (e.g. software should never be a problem or why don’t you listen?) In fact, all why questions are based on some underlying belief you have, determining how you think and feel. Take inventory of yours, your expectations, your whys, how many are in violation of another rule you believe is essential. If you want to be willing to listen, notice your rules. Engaging with people and your upsets never works in my experience. You are listening to your arguments.
Initially I was able to adjust my expectations to more match the outcomes and yet there were times I was stuck with an upset. Eventually I realized the source of my expectations are my preferences. Once I noticed my preference for something, I saw I could experiment with any event as ‘what is the lesson here?’ or ‘what am I supposed to learn from this?’ What would a day look like and feel like without any preferences? I suspect we have extraordinarily little to do with the result. The difference between crazy, doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result and perseverance, continuing until the desired outcome, is indistinguishable for most us. The folks in the ‘stands’ however are either shouting keep on going or give it up already. Who do you listen for? What changes your ‘listening’? Consider ignoring the stands and discover your own path, follow the breadcrumbs laid out for you each day.
The dictionary has some earth-shattering distinctions. I’ve done dozens of goal courses since high school. So, I have some stories about goals. Laundry lists of goals, broken down into daily bites to conform to my schedule. Maria Nemeth wrote the dictionary says, “A goal is an object or an event towards which PLAY is directed in order to score”. I was struggling at the time, discouraged that nothing was enjoyable anymore. I collapsed what ‘score’ I wanted with each of my goals and lost play in the bargain. I was stuck in strain, struggle, and sacrifice. I could not get out of the funk, and there was no inspiration anywhere… just work, a special kind of misery. Noticing the requirement for play broke the connection and made score and goal distinct again. Score takes care of herself.
I assert the sole purpose of a goal, a promise, even a commitment is that it inspires you, it calls you into action and effortless action is the most fun. If you are not called into action, adjust the promise, commitment, or goal so you are inspired again. If your integrity is important to you, if you want any chance at building your willpower stronger, do not quit. WHAT inspires you today!? Inspiration is an essential part of effortlessness. That ‘mustard seed of faith’ often chanted still requires something LESS to work: ZERO doubt. All the faith in the world is destroyed by a glimmer, a mere hint of doubt.
Have you forgotten or lost your ability to work without doubt? Watch young children play. When does doubt disappear for you? How long are you able to maintain zero doubt during the day? What happens and THEN doubt appears?
You do not get any extra points for suffering, unless you make up the rules of the game that way. – Michael Neill
You can have anything you want, providing you first let go of wanting it. – Lester Levenson
It is your choice. Have fun while you succeed or strain, sacrifice and struggle your rear end off to success. What say you? Coming from fun makes every task you’re doing an opportunity. Consider playing with the team I’m on. The only thing stopping you is your thinking.