When You Stop Trying, You Start Dying

We have all had moments, periods in our lives, of failure. Life itself is composed of failure. If you have never failed at anything, you’re either severely in denial, or not human.

Actions speak far louder than words. This is also a fact, and another large ingredient in the soup we call life. If you fail at something, that says nothing about who you are. How you react to failure tells the whole story.

Say one loses in a game of chess, and rather horribly at that. There are several reactions

English: A large chess game inside Enoch Pratt...

English: A large chess game inside Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, MD, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

one can have to that loss (or any loss for that matter). One could take it and practice/train diligently until they are at a higher level of skill. That would be an example of learning from past mistakes (exposing the queen, playing recklessly, etc.). I see this response as an immense show character. Defeat can be agonizing, but it’s  also a great teacher and something we can all learn from. Never giving up.

Wrestling redux

I’m not sure I can take that on just yet… but I’m not discounting the possibility entirely! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the other hand, one may take the loss, and decide they will never be worth anything when it comes to chess. This may seem like it’s an over-exageration, but now that I think of it, I’ve made that very claim on my ability in playing football, box, or wrestle. Those things are scary to me, and I don’t have natural skill in those sports (I’m a tiny guy). So I have closed those pathways for myself.

Chess is only one example. Now what if one says they will never be worth anything when it comes to any board game? To any game at all? Suddenly, they’re diminishing their possibilities in life. Any opportunity that comes with any game – meeting new people, learning about one’s self, really anything at all – is now impossible, as this hypothetical example of mine has deemed games of any kind as not worth their time.

In many ways, they’ve given up. They’ve taken failure, and let it beat them down permanently. And once you’ve fully given up, purpose in life is gone.

We all have things we’ve given up on. I could quite easily follow that path and keep giving up, on all sports, on anything physical. But I don’t, because I won’t close any more pathways for myself, because I still have a purpose, because I’m not yet ready to start dying.

Moving beyond my examples, this goes far deeper than just chess, just games. It’s about a fundamental attitude towards life. Are you willing to fight for your dreams, your ambitions? There is no easy way to achieve them, as they won’t simply fall from the sky and plop into your lap. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: life will knock you around, hard.

Learning the hard way

Can you get up and learn from the fall? (Photo credit: laverrue)

Like I said before, actions speak far louder than words – how will you react to getting knocked down?

As the famous japanese proverb put it: fall down seven times, stand up eight. Despite the pain, the struggle will be worth it. But without a struggle, without a conflict, you’re not putting the effort into life to feed the fire that is your ambition. With time, it’ll die down, fade away.

When you stop trying, you start dying. If you have a purpose, get up and start living.



17 thoughts on “When You Stop Trying, You Start Dying

  1. You can’t say you win nor success if you haven’t kiss failures. that’s life… sometimes you may fail and its normal anyway what matters most is the way how you overcome and stand up everytime u failed!

    • Right. Failure is only another obstacle to overcome unless you give up. We all kiss failure. But it’s up to ourselves (not giving up, that is) if we want to find success.

  2. Life is motion. Stop moving and you get sick and die. If you want to stay alive, keep moving, both physically and mentally. Motion is that which keeps us alive. I very much agree with your article. If we stop, then we start dying. And I’ve even seen it in practice. When old people stop moving, then they start dying. But if old people keep moving, then they remain alive for a longer period of time. There is an intricate relationship between life and motion.

    • Very true, and what you speak of I have yet to directly address, although I would very much like to. It’s true, we must move if want to escape life’s wrath from withering us away like a stone under a waterfall.

  3. Ah, I say this in total seriousness you ought to be a motivational speaker/writer or life coach! I feel so uplifted when I read what you’ve written. It’s always so chalked full of wisdom and gratitude for life itself. A lot of people could learn from you 🙂 I appreciate how truly positive you are. Myself, I work at staying positive-it doesn’t come naturally to me but I’m improving on it 😉 Thanks for the extra help! 😀

  4. I’ve always liked to think that when I “give up” on one thing it frees me up to do something completely different. No matter how hard I played or how often I practiced, I was never going to be good at baseball… but that moved me to pick up a trumpet and spent the next 8 years “doing” music. If I’d have stuck with baseball as a kid, I’d probably still be trying to find my way in from left field somewhere. By going in another direction I met most of the people who I still think of as my closest friends. When I look at it like that, it’s hard to see where I really “gave up” anything 🙂

    • And to be honest, I don’t think you did. The kind of giving up that I’m talking about is when you stop trying to be positive, to make in impact in life. When the passion is shut down, put away, and forgotten.

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