To be perfectly honest when people have told me to ‘Never Give Up’ I often wanted to kindly tell them to go to hell.
I’m just being honest.
What does it mean to live by the mantra “never give up”? I talk about the mantra I live by in the third step of my book, “Dance Because You Can”. The truth is, life is all about resilience, it is about walking your own path and recognizing when we need to make a turn in the road, to move forward instead of falling down and giving up.
There has been no lack of roadblocks and hairpin turns in my life.
From childhood diabetes to being legally blind, to survive being run over by a New York City bus, it is true I never gave up.
To be honest, when I was younger, giving up wasn’t even an option. I never even considered it. Maybe it’s because I was young and naïve about how huge my life’s obstacles were.
I just didn’t know any better, it was my life and although it wasn’t easy, it was all I knew so I just kept moving forward. I adapted my dreams and goals to accommodate the ever-changing new normal, in whatever way it kept showing up for me.
When I couldn’t drive anymore, I became very adept at using public transportation despite living in Los Angeles, California. While it was frustrating, I was learning to be infinitely resourceful. I couldn’t drive but I wouldn’t stop my life either.
When I wanted to be a rock star but realized my vocals weren’t great, I changed directions and focused on dance. I have always been good at changing the direction of the path in my life. I am not a victim of my circumstances.
Truth be told good can come from any situation. Not giving up is not a cliché. Sometimes it means something as simple as taking a shower and making the bed. For someone in severe depression this is a HUGE cause to keep going.
Real victory in our instant gratification society is not so much some lottery winning idea. It is the series of simple daily actions over time. I bet if you look back over your life and your victories in any realm, personal, professional, health, finances, there have been a series of baby steps accumulating over time.
An oak tree starts as a seedling and survives every storm before it rises high into the sky.
For me ‘Never Giving Up’ is having daily tasks that set me up to win. At the end of the day I can say I was successful. Similar to a gratitude list I deem this my ‘Victory List.’
I have faced my own mortality in many forms. Not the least of which was being pinned under the tire of a 15-ton New York City express bus and having my body literally rebuilt.
I am not saying there weren’t times that had my own pity party. Sometimes I just wanted to give up, to be put out of the misery. Staying alive had literally become to painful.
But I was living.
I kept fighting though, I kept moving forward and I never gave up. No matter how near to homelessness, how hungry, how scared, giving up just wasn’t an option.
What does ‘Never Give Up’ look like in your life? What actions would be a Victory List for you?
The results we see in our lives are due to the causes we make. If something isn’t working let’s redirect and create a new path. There is always a solution.
“I take insulin shots every day. I am not a professional dancer on Broadway. I am legally blind and can no longer drive. I have a rebuilt leg and new skin worth a few million dollars. I went through a five-year lawsuit and I am not married to the man of my dreams, but I am still here. I am still leaving my mark on the world, making meaningful connections, and working hard to create value.”
From ‘Dance Because You Can,’ where I outline a 5 Step formula that Transforms Trauma into Triumph. Never Give Up is step three of the five-step formula.
Always remember, You are WINNING!