“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.