Don’t Quit

“Your circumstances may be uncongenial, but they shall not remain so if you only perceive an ideal and strive to reach it. You cannot travel within and stand still without.” — As A Man Thinketh

For many years I have carried around a poem called Don’t Quit. One of the lines says, “stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit – It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.” In our darkest hour it’s hard to see the end of our circumstance. All we can think of is our conditions worsening. But it’s usually at this time that our greatest growth can occur if we’ll see the moment as a growth opportunity. If we’ll see it as a time to learn how to control our thoughts toward an ideal that we cherish.

One thing I share with people who seek my advice when they think their life has come apart, is to help them understand the power that even the tiniest of actions can have when taken in a negative situation. Remember in Science class when we learned that “a body at rest tends to remain at rest or a body in motion tends to remain in motion.” This is especially true when overcoming circumstances because “paralysis” usually keeps us in the condition longer than we’d like.

But even more important, is that once we’ve started in motion, even though it may not seem like much, know this – it’s now only a matter of time before you’re out, totally out, of the situation that has got you down today.

My long-time favorite poem by an anonymous author is worth remembering today:

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill.
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns.
And many a fellow turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man.
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup.
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.
And that’s worth thinking about.

18 thoughts on “Don’t Quit”

  1. Hi Vic,

    This poem has been a HUGE inspiration to me for many years.

    So many times over the years I wanted to quit and these words always came back to me.

    Today, as we celebrate’s 10-Year Anniversary Sale I am very grateful that I didn’t quitand apparently so are tens of thousands of our members and subscribers.

    If I had quit, I wouldn’t have the success I have today and would not have people like you in my life.

    Thanks for the reminder, Vic.
    You always give me something to think about.

  2. Your timeliness is perfect, as usual. We just had a talk about this poem in our MasterMind group and, just like that, we’ve attracted it into our inboxes. It seems both the universe AND Vic Johnson move in mysterious ways 🙂

  3. I have the picture version on the wall: An Egret or Stork has a frog in it’s mouth. However the frog has his hands around the bird’s throat. A stalemate until the bird can’t breath & will drop the frog. Maybe!!!!
    Or>>> When does one stop banging one’s head against the wall?

  4. Outstanding Post Vic. I learned the phrase “Stick and Stay and you’ll get your Pay” several years ago. I didn’t truly get the meaning until a few years later nor did I understand how much deeper you can go beyond the fraze. We all hear about the person winning the lottery however 85% of them end up in 5 years dead or dead broke. They got the million dollars but they didn’t become the millionaire. They didn’t go through the natural progression and stick to their vision and “BECOME the person who would not only attract the money but learn the skills to create more money and allow the energy of money to flow through them. It’s a process that so few people are willing to pay and learn however I enjoy helping spread the word.

  5. Vic,
    Thanks alot for publishing this as, I too, have been through “rough waters” in my life and ministry. I’m still learning that, “With Christ in the Ship, We Can ‘Smile’ at the Storm.”

    God richly bless you,
    Pastor Tim

  6. I just wanted to share some things about the poem Don’t Quit. I have personally met the author of this poem, Alice Rowland of Alberta Canada, who wrote it in 1948. She even shared the original copy with me. The story of why it was written, and how it came to be spread across the world as “author unknown” is quite amazing. It is a wonderful poem that has been very inspirational to me and countless many others. The Author Unknown version actually omits the last verse, which is as follows.

    “For we know the Father above looks down
    He sees our struggles and holds the crown.
    He knows the way though its rough and drear,
    He will give strength so we need not fear.
    He offers to you the refreshing cup
    Of the water of life: then in faith look up.
    Continue on ’til the crown is won
    Which He will give when our work is done.”
    Alice Rowland

  7. What a wonderful inclusion of a divine thought of the Crown we will receive when indeed our work is done. I had never heard of this before and thought to send you a positive thought of expression of just how meaningful this was to me. God Bless

  8. Thank you so much Vic and also to Kyla for giving us the full version of the Poem ‘Dont Quit’, that last line just Blessed me and enabled me to see the complete picture.
    Vic, your website is truly motivational. Keep up the good work.

  9. This poem Don’t Quit has indeed been around for a long time. I’ve been reading it since I was a child. The original author is Richard J. Cushing, Archbishop of Boston, 1957.

    I hand it out as a bookmark to participants in my Life Skills workshops.


  10. The author of the poem is NOT Richard J. Cushing, Archbishop of Boston, 1957. The poem has been around longer than 1957. The author of the poem is sadly unknown.

  11. This poem (Don’t quit) sadly to say to most of you is alot older then you think. The original athor is by Edgar A. Guest at the turn of the century.

  12. I just need to say to Kyla, yes Alice Rowland is the author of the poem “Don’t Quit” She is my grandmother. And it is an amazing story of why the author is always “unknown”. Alice is alive and well in Alberta, Canada.

  13. Aloha Melanie ~

    My boys and I are facing one of the greatest challenges in our lives right now…their father, my ex-husband, has been arrested (but released pending further investigation). It is through the grace of ke Akua (God) and the power of our family and friends’ prayers that we are getting through this particularly rough storm.

    This poem has always been such an inspiration to us, especially to my youngest son. Would you mind sharing with us exactly why your grandmother chooses to let the author be “unknown?” What an amazing woman to have written something so inspirational!

    Mahalo nui (many thanks), ke Akua pu (God’s blessings)…

    ~ Aloha from Maui

  14. Alice Rowland did not write this poem… I know the real story! My mother wrote this poem and the only thing that bothers her is when she see the poem published and it is incorrect! This is very irritating for her. But, I doubt anyone will every really get to know she did it because she is terrible with computers doesn’t even know how to use them, and she is starting to ail a little. Due to her lack in funds she has know way to let people know…and it is at the bottom of her to do list… So I just wanted to set the record straight that I am her daughter, she has 8 grandkids and like the poem she is the most sincere, beautiful soul you will ever meet on this planet and I am blessed to be able to have her as my mom! If I knew how to set the record straight for her I would! She deserves the recognition feel free to email me

  15. @Kyla —
    News is that it was written by Alice Rowland of Alberta Canada, who claims to havewritten it in 1948 when she was 15. However the poem was found to be published in TheBest loved Poems of the American People” published by Doubleday & Company, Inc.,Garden City, N.Y. ISBN 0-385-00019-7. Copyright 1936. This is 12 years prior to thedate Alice Rowland (nee Enzie) claims to have written the poem.

  16. These posts are most interesting. I’m preparing to include the poem in our monthly newsletter and would like to know who the real author is. One woman claims her father wrote it – Teresa says her mother wrote it but didn’t include a name. Where is the Truth? And, Kyla says she personally met Alice Rowland, who wrote the poem in 1948. These conflicting accounts can drive an inquiring mind up the wall!

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