Close menu

Giving in to giving up

A sign that you’ve mastered the science of personal development is reflected in the art of giving up. I’ve learned to become quite a good giver-upper.

I kind of got the idea that sometimes quitting is a really good strategy. At times it can be the only strategy! You can sometimes surrender to the fact that you cannot change certain circumstances or people. There’s only so many times you can bang your head against a brick wall without realising the wall isn’t going to give.

The problem is that you’ve been brainwashed into the mantra of never giving up. If at first you don’t succeed, what are you supposed to do? Quitters quit, right?

Nigel Marsh gives a fabulous analogy that might just save your marriage. Sometimes he says, you just have to give in and let go. If there’s a heated exchange and you can feel tempers rising, or your partner says something irksome, it might be a good idea to, in his words, ‘let that one go through to the wicket keeper’. In case you’re American, let me explain. Cricket is a game that takes five days.* I know! Imagine?* And they take afternoon tea, which is so lovely. There’s a bowler whose job it is to hurl a rock solid ball at the batter. It’s the batters job to hit the ball and run like hell. But the reason it takes five days is that, for much of the time the batter chooses to let the ball go, and it’s caught by a guy in big gloves called the wicket keeper.

There’s a bit more to it than that but the analogy of choosing to let something pass you by is a nice one. Rather than snapping back or trying to be clever, just let that comment pass.

If -self-help is a science, then ‘giving up’ is an art. I write a series of children’s novels and I always tell kids (truthfully) that it took 32 rejections before Puffin eventually offered to publish my books. How many people would have given up after 10 rejections? I suspect most. Or 20, almost everyone would have jacked it in and got on with their day job. And you’d have to be a bit crazy to continue trying after 30 ‘experts’ had sent your manuscript back.

So, don’t give up easily, but it’s most certainly an option. Knowing when to walk away from a relationship or a job – that’s the ‘clever’ bit.

comments powered by Disqus

Posted by: Andy C