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Shot Of The Day

Hold On

Endurance, Quitting and Dips

Lance Armstrong, the king of endurance in so many ways, once said: “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute or an hour or a day or a year but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.“ On quitting, perhaps Winston Churchill is most remembered for his “never never never give up“ speech. But I wonder if there is another dimension to endurance and quitting? One that does not involve an “always” or “never” rule. One that raises a question rather than an absolute answer for all seasons and situations. A question that we sometimes skip in our journey as we react to what is coming our way in life. It’s a simple question — to what end? To what end are we enduring? For what prize? And is that prize worth the pain of endurance? Endurance, in and of itself, has no glory unless the thing for which we endure has worth. In the book “The Dip“ the author posits that quitting is not always bad. Indeed, quitting is the wisest thing we can do when we realize we are enduring something that does not lead to a healthy end, a worth while prize, or a worthy goal. So yes, hold on! Endure! Don’t quit! But don’t lose site of the thing for which you endure. Don’t lose sight of the goal. Is it worth while? If not, then, with great deference to Lance and Winston, I say quit. Quit and turn your laser beam focus to the prize that is worth the pain! Laser beams burn through goals infinitely faster than smoldering, spread-too-thin, burnt-out embers. John Wesley said it best — “Set yourself on fire for the things you believe, and people will come from miles to watch you burn!”

Posted: 20 August 2008