Something Great Would Be Lost
“If You Give Up Something Great Would Be Lost”
I always say this when I want to encourage people to start things or to keep at them. I can’t remember if I read it somewhere or make it up. Probably I just read it.
But, is it really true, that something great would be lost if you give up? How can anybody be so sure that doing something wouldn’t result in pain or regret?
Well, there are some ways to be reasonably sure that what I say is true
You’re Going To Die
I know it sounds harsh, but at least you’re sure it’s the truth. At one point in life you’ll die and it’ll all be over. If you don’t do what you want to do, you won’t even have the memory. Everyone has ideas, but very few actually do them and crash (in the worst case scenario). Most people just wither away without either rising to the realm of the remarkable or falling into suck-land. Frankly, even if you suck and crash badly, you’ll still have something to look back on when death comes knocking.
I Never Mentioned It Would Be Pleasurable
People have this idea that life has to be pleasurable. You have to be comfortable, you have to have a warm house, you have to eat food that tastes good, be clean, be relaxed, be sterilized. What’s the point of that? Will you say in your deathbed “That big bed was very comfortable, I have great memories of lying in there, sleeping eight hours a day” or say “What has that bed seen! I remember all the days I lay awake thinking of the next project, working until 2 a.m., crashing after a bumpy adventure outside”
What most people think of as pleasure is actually comfort. It’s like lying in a warm bath. Nice, relaxing and calm. True pleasure can only be felt if it comes by the hand of struggle. You have to feel how a full day of exciting and hard work feels like to really admire a night of absolutely pleasurable sleep.
Most People Who Try To Shoot You Down Actually Suck
What to think if your friends, family, neighbors, etc. tell you that what you want to do is stupid and you’ll end up shaming yourself? Well, first you should go over what the project is, and who your friends and family are. Do you want to live your lives just like them? If yes, then by all means listen to them.
But if the idea of being perfectly normal like your friends, and doing the same things your whole family has done for generations fills you with dread; don’t listen to them. In fact, most people won’t even know what your project will come to. What they say is merely the instinctual reaction to someone pushing their comfort boundaries. Don’t worry about them, since their reactions say more about them and their beliefs than it says about you and your projects
If You Don’t Actually Do It You Will Most Surely Regret It
In the end, it won’t matter what you did. All the bad things go away when you die, and that will happen regardless of what you do. But you will be plagued by the regret of the things you didn’t do until the very last moment.
You cannot be sure of what’ll happen if you try, but if you give up you’ll never know.
What if there’s a considerable possibility you fail and end up sucking?
As a basic rule, even people who rise to greatness sucked at some point in their lives. They made stupid mistakes, took bad decisions, fell into traps which could have been averted. But the difference between them and people who go on all their lives sucking is that they realized that the only way to do something worth anything is to take the risk of sucking.
What you do here is not run to safety with your tail between your legs. You have to go over the consequences of failure and minimize the pain it would cause you.
If you want to start a company make sure you have a financial cushion for when things go bad. Start small, plan for emergencies, have a plan B if plan A seems to start sinking. And a plan C when plan B burns.
If You Give Up, At Least Something Will Be Lost.
I cannot assure you it’ll be good. But the world will lose something.
Maybe you would have succeeded after much struggling, and the world would have gained a company, a book, an athlete, a leader.
Or you could have failed. And the world would now lose the experience of someone, and now someone who would have succeeded after learning of your mistakes now have to fail.
At least we can be sure the world will lose the inspiration of someone who tried, regardless of the lack of guarantees.