Oh-My-God, my sister sighs as she restlessly sets her utensils on the dining table before begrudgingly moaning “It’s Monday tomorrow and I have to work” – every. single. Sunday. night. without fail. It then occurred to us that we should try to bring positivity back to Mondays, give it some cheer, start the week right. Today, we bring in our first writer Big Jaws to grapple with a topic we can all connect with – Never giving up no matter what. But when reality sets in, what does it mean to never give up?
Illustration by Huey.c
Have you ever thought of giving up? Or inversely, have you ever thought about persevering?
He never understood that a true Olympian was not just about a God-given skill set, it's about never giving up, no matter what.
This thought-provoking quote by Warren Sharp, a fictional character in the movie, Eddie The Eagle, could be easily applied to anyone in their daily struggles on the way to achieving their dreams. Eddie The Eagle movie was based on a true story - one man's vision to compete in the Olympics, a goal he eventually did reach despite multiple setbacks, obstacles and objections.
Some people have big definite dreams - Become an actor; run their own business; achieve the MDRT - million-dollar round table, for those unfamiliar. My brother for one is working towards that. For others, a dream could be a much simpler vision, achieving debt-free life for one, earning workspace equality and respect for another. For myself, my dream is a vision of my utopia - a mountainous landscape, a single tent pitched high above, lush greenery plays hide and seek with a gentle mist. I awake and as I open the flaps of my tent, there is not a single soul around. The occasional bird chirping breaking the sound of silence.
It might be hard to comprehend, but that is my dream, and we all have a different dream in our head, a shapeless intangible utopia that we believe upon achieving, could bring us immense happiness. So the only surefire way that ensures you are set on the path of achieving your dreams is simple as? That's right - Never giving up! And while it is easy to say “Never give up! Hold on to your dreams, no matter what others tell you, you have to believe in yourself!” In reality, it’s not so simple, really.
Here are a few simple steps to inspire you for this week:
Positivity & Negativity
I had a friend in our clique back in our schooling days who picked up dance and devoted a large amount of time to dance training and her dance friends. As classmates, we have had on certain occasions insinuated that the dance part of her life was a waste of time, but despite that, after graduating, she continued on with dancing. She spent many hours volunteering her time with her juniors, and never picked up a proper full time employment, instead opting for contract jobs that could provide her flexibility with her dancing. In recent years, we've seen for ourselves that she's done a great job of earning her own keep while doing what she loves and it makes me wonder why as friends, we weren't a little more supportive?
Perhaps everyone could think of that one or two friends whom you've discouraged, jeered or made snide remarks about something that they wished to pursue, on the belief that you are providing sensible advice. And surely you have been on the receiving end of negative reactions that was uncalled for, or that disappoints you in the fact that these people do not trust that you were matured enough to decide on your own ambitions and goals.
So be that person who emits positivity to the people around you, and recognise and step away from people whom display negativity when the conversation at the table turns to topics about your dream. Providing positivity is as simple as asking people about their dream, providing relevant information that you think could be of interest or simply being there to give them a chance to offload when they are feeling down.
Baby Steps A Day
I sometimes look back in life and wondered where the years go? I could have learn to play the guitar, got my diving cert, and mastered French, but I achieved none of those. It was a fear of committing - that with my irregular job schedule, I wouldn't be able to foresee if I might have to skip classes or I might not have time for it down the road. Needless to say, I am zero steps closing to waking up in a tent up in the mountains, enjoying my utopia.
But recently, my sister imparted some wise words to me. My sister has been holding on to a full time employment whilst trying to build her own start-up. She formed a team of people who all had day jobs, and I wondered how she believe she could run her day job and formulate her start up at the same time. She explained that the tech guy in her team questioned their current progress every night, and it kept her on her tippy toes. The question that kept their fuel running was: What have you done for our startup today?
This simple question ensured that she made, no matter how small, continued progress in their quest every single day. It could be as simple as establishing contact with a vendor, or as complicated as formulating the layout of their web site, all in all it ensured that something was being done everyday to ensure their continued momentum to achieving their dreams.
Recognizing the Limits of your Dreams
In the movie, Eddie's fellow competitor, also the no. 1 ranking ski jumper, gives him a piece of advice. He explains that the rest of the competitors are different from the two of them. The two of them aren't competing for the fame or the medal, and that the rest of the world don't matter. They are simply competing to beat their own personal best.
So, instead of constantly dreaming of being high up in the mountains whilst worrying about how a city girl could even last up there, what I really should be doing is exploring day hikes around the region that would take lesser efforts and commitments to achieve. And then when I've become comfortable enough in all the hiking, I could work my way up to camping in a tent, and then eventually I could do week long hikes, and then scale higher mountains!
If we could learn and understand the boundaries of our own dreams, and have awareness of the limits, it would be much easier for us to achieve. And as you make progress to your dreams, keeping it current and evolving it constantly ensures that you don't give up easily because the tasks are not insurmountable and your challenges are kept afresh so you do not become complacent.
So excuse me while I lace up my boots and head off to research on some hills to climb!