How often have you heard the phrase, “you can’t give up” or “you can’t quit”? It is a phrase most all of us recall from our years of growing up from our parents, or from a teacher or a coach or two. Then as we go through our journey of life, sometimes we have the great opportunity to parent, and we then find ourselves saying the same thing to our kids. They may get involved in an activity or sport, and the “heat” gets turned up or they don’t enjoy it and want to quit. We as life lesson teaching parents take the golden opportunity to have a teachable moment and tell them “you started it, you can’t quit”.
Over my parents 50th wedding anniversary weekend we went out to eat with some family friends. After we finished eating, my sister asked my parents and their friends what it took or what they did to have a long term successful marriage. And their friends said, “You just can’t quit, it’s too easy to quit.” And when he said those words, they immediately rang in my ears. Simplicity is a way I work to live, as I firmly believe we have lots of smart people who try to complicate all sorts of processes, and I’m just not that smart and work hard to simplify things. And in anything, quitting is often the easiest thing to do. There are many more objectives, actions and behaviors, communication patterns, and decisions to a 50-year successful marriage, but as with many things, quitting is often the easiest way out, and with all things in life, beyond a sport, we just can’t quit. That is too easy! It’s kind of like our new dog GiGi, she still hasn’t given up nibbling on me and my hands as I am trying to type this! 😉 She is a persistent critter!
The only way to truly give up is to be dead or incapacitated. Often times just grinding life out and having some willful perseverance, we will be rewarded with success. If you hang around a barbershop long enough, you will get a haircut, it’s just that simple. But to get something you have never had, you have to do something you have never done. So what it is that you have never done that may give you something you have never had? Maybe you are struggling with your team of people, so maybe you should begin to hold self-improvement team meetings and execute team required reading self-improvement books. Maybe you need to begin having a family meeting to review what your family wants to do that you have never done, and plan to do it. Maybe you are single and looking for companionship and think about beginning to be a prayer warrior on God bringing you the perfect someone for companionship, and begin to look in places where extraordinary very special people hang out or belong to. Maybe you are having extreme parenting challenges, and maybe you should reach out to people around you that have been extremely successful at parenting and raised Rockstar adults, and ask them what they did right and what they did wrong.
Whatever it is you want to do, do something you have never done before to accomplish it! It will seem weird, may be uncomfortable, even odd when you do these virgin things. But embrace the feeling, be brave, demonstrate some courage, and do it. Even tell the people you are doing this new “thing” with that it is going to be weird, but prepare them so their minds can be ready for it. Much like the first time we were going to pray after our staff meeting. I had been moved for a few months that we needed to start doing it, and new it would be “weird” and some may resist or not like it. Which was ok, but we had to do it. So at one staff meeting, I ended it with telling them, “We are going to start to pray to end our staff meeting. It’s going to be weird and uncomfortable, but we are going to do it, and I’m just preparing you for the moment. So be ready to pray after our staff meeting next month.’
So, we did it, and from that moment on, things changed. Dynamics changed. Hearts and minds shifted, and we “grew” as a “family”. It was new, it was weird to start, it difficult because I had no idea what people would do, think, or feel. But it works! It gets us something we have never had! People that pray together grow together. And just recently, after a challenging week and an impromptu staff meeting after a long week on a Friday after closing, Dr. Austin, one of our new vets, ended the meeting by saying, “Let’s pray!” So we did! And we “grew” at that moment! You never know, once you start something new and weird, people may ask for more. People may crave it more. So just do it! Don’t quit, it’s too easy!!