The old adage that states, “Quitters never win, and Winners never quit” has an enormous amount of truth and can benefit a person tremendously if he would heed the valuable lesson that is being taught. I have often said to people on occasion that the easiest way to become defeated in this life is to never try at all.
There are many people in the world today who live their lives being overshadowed by an ominous cloud of defeatism. Many good people defeat themselves by never attempting to carry out certain tasks because they view the tasks before them as being too hard or too big. Oftentimes they convince themselves that what is required to complete the tasks is far beyond their realm of intelligence and comprehension, or that abilities needed to complete such tasks are beyond the scope of the skill set they have. As a result they give up without ever trying, cheating themselves out of the wonderment of what they may have achieved if they only had the courage and the willpower to forge ahead. Even after they have put forth their best efforts to carry out a task and they discover that they still are unable to complete it successfully, they need not give up and quit. At that particular juncture it is time to ask someone who is a little more knowledgeable to help complete the task at hand. With such help, the person who began the project may not only complete it, but will also gain new skills valuable for future projects.
The attitude of defeatism can exist in our homes, on our jobs, and in our classrooms. Not necessarily is this attitude of defeatism brought about by a lack of trying to do something, but oftentimes rather by listening to the voice of a naysayer. For example, a husband wanting to save much-needed money decides that instead of calling a plumber to come and make minor repairs, he would try to make those repairs himself. As he begins work making the repairs, his wife enters the room and asks him what he thinks he is doing. “Now honey,” she says, “you know that you don’t know anything about plumbing. Why don’t you call someone who can fix it right the first time?” Her comment to this dear man, regardless of the intent behind it, has literally taken the “wind out of his sails” and causes him to give up and do as his wife says, call a plumber, thus spending the money that he had hoped to save.
Parents can similarly instill an attitude of defeatism in their children. For example, Johnny comes home from school and asks his mother if he can join the football team. Her response may be something like this: “Sweetheart, football is such a rough sport, and besides all the other boys on the team are much bigger, stronger, and faster than you. You probably would not make the team anyway. Why don’t you try out for something a little more suitable, or join one of the clubs at school instead.” This dear mother, though being sincere but perhaps unknowingly, has just devastated her son and crushed his dreams of ever playing for the team before he even had the chance to try out for it.
Employers can also be guilty of instilling the attitude of defeatism in some of their employees by never allowing them to progress in the company, and thus never knowing the employees’ true worth to the company because they are never afforded the opportunity to meet their true potential. Eventually those employees may begin to feel they are stuck in a rut, and instead of trying to move ahead, they become complacent in the jobs that they have, further reducing their value to the company.
Teachers in the classroom may also be guilty of instilling this attitude in some of their slower developing students, often leaving those students feeling that they do not have the adequate intelligence to ever be able to do the things that their classmates do. As a result, many of them just give up feeling there is no use in even trying. Because of this defeated attitude, these students may never know what they may have achieved if they had only kept trying, and society will never enjoy those lost contributions.
On the other hand, if a person does not immediately give up and quit, he can, and will, reap the satisfaction of knowing that he at least tried, even if his attempts are not fully successful. You and I will never know what our true potential is, or what we may ever be able to achieve in this life, if we never even try. To reach any goal or prize, we must never quit before we try, but rather we must continue to try, and try again.
Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.