There are a million God-awful things in life. There is pain. There is hurt. There is shame. There is blame. There is fear. There is depression. There is hopelessness. There is loneliness. There is panic. There is wasted talent. There are too many things to list or think of or comprehend. I cannot defend or pretend these things are not that bad because they are.
I could name any one of these things and talk about how painful and harmful they can be in life, because I’ve felt each of these emotions very intimately at different times in my own life. I’m well aware of each and grateful to have moved on from being accosted by them.
There is however, one thing I would like to talk about particularly, and that is the act of giving up, or more precisely, of not even trying. This in my opinion is the worst thing in life.
Now like I said, I don’t mean to belittle any of the other aforementioned atrocities of life, but this thing of not even trying or giving up without even making an attempt at something is something that I see all too often. In fact I see it everywhere I go. It’s nearly become an epidemic in our society.
I see it in school with children who don’t care to learn. I see it at work with employees who don’t care about their work. I see it at the gym with newly inspired members who last a day on their new training plan before calling it quits and never showing up again. The faces change, the excuses change, the motives change, but the ultimate source of this apathy remains the same.
It’s so much easier to not attempt something challenging than to attempt something and risk looking like a fool for failing.
So many students don’t try for fear of getting bad grades and looking dumb, or worse, for fear of being too smart and looking like a nerd. It’s not cool of course to look like a geek!
So many workers hate their jobs, but for fear of losing a job or actually having to go out and find another one, they stay put, unhappy.
So many people would love to look great and feel great but when they realize how much work it actually takes, they give in and plan on doing the work at a later date, knowing full-well that date will never come.
Across the board we give up before even trying. From relationships, to hobbies, to friendships, to skills, and everything else. We like things that come easy to us. If anything is any bit of a challenge we surrender or find something different that takes less work. We settle for less and choose unhappiness just to satiate our need for not trying!
So maybe giving up before even trying isn’t as bad as facing anxiety, or depression, or even panic when you fail. Maybe it’s easier to just avoid these emotions and let time tick away, unaffected and uninvited by all of its sensations. Yes, the position of apathy might be best to take in life…but then again what the hell are we here for?
We all have a purpose, at least that’s what I truly believe. Whether we can see it or not, we are all here for a reason. But by not doing things that you want to because of fears of not succeeding you are literally wasting your life. You are not living; you’re merely breathing in oxygen and watching the world change.
The greatest sports athlete of our time, Michael Jordan, said it best, “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
Don’t be afraid to live life. I mean to really live. Do something now you’ve been putting off or fearing to do and start making a mark on the world. Do this, and avoid falling victim to the worst thing in life!