Giving Up

We all have a tendency to think big from time to time.  We'll get these ideas and be totally enthusiastic about them for a time and then the enthusiasm starts to sizzle out as we realize the amount of work it will take or simply think it's not realistic.  When the excitement has worn off, we have two options:

Give up or keep going.

"Giving up" has a negative connotation to it, but it truly is not always a bad thing.  Let me give you an example of a good case of "giving up" and a bad one.

I once heard a guy tell me about how he has bounced around from diet to diet.  This guy has tried everything.  He's been vegan, gluten free, vegetarian, dairy free, meat free, you name it, he's tried it.  He was at a dinner with some friends when he casually told them that he was "vegan again".  They teased and chided him for being inconsistent.  He took it in for a few minutes until they all ran out of steam and then he told them why he hasn't stuck to one diet.

This guy was a real athlete.  He loved to run.  It was his passion.  Eating, he explained to his friends, was just a way to fuel his body.  He goes from diet to diet to see how the diet makes an impact on his endurance and stamina when he runs.  Some diets, he found, slow him down and others help him beat personal records.  The point, for him, wasn't to stick to a diet.  The point was to discover which diet fueled his body in the most powerful way.

In looking at it this way, "giving up" a diet that wasn't giving him the results that he wanted is a good thing.  It does not serve him to stay with a diet that was slowing him down simply for the sake of appearing consistent to his friends.

However, if he gave up running, something he loved and really wanted to do, because he couldn't peel himself off the couch.  Well, that's where the negative connotation of "giving up" comes from.  

The difference is in how the decision is serving you.

Giving up something that does not serve you, is a great thing.  Giving up something that would serve you well, is a terrible thing.  Next time you come to the crossroad of giving up or keep going, get down to the root of it.  What's the point?  What's your real goal?  

Remember, there's no shame in giving up something that is not serving you.