Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Giving up too easily?

Most often, the difference between success and no success, seems to be persistence.  Sure, chance plays a part, as does a slew of other things that you don't have much control over, but persistence is something you actually do have control over.

While playing chess a couple of weeks ago, I realized that I often give up too early in the game.  When I do play the game out, a disadvantageous situation often turns around, and some of the time I still win.  But, when the going gets tough, I was giving up too easily.  The most often excuse I gave myself is that I felt tired. But was I really tired of playing, or, was I just doubting myself?  Why do I quit when the going gets tough?

Translating chess psychology and strategy into real life is something I like to do, and so I thought about what I've given up on in the past, and the reason why.

About twelve years ago, back in high school, I gave up programming. Before I gave it up, I really liked it. I had a book that I was following, and I just got to one point and I got stuck. I couldn't go further.  So instead of seeking out a solution, I quit.  Today I can think of many solutions. Get a different book. Find a teacher or mentor. Try a different programming language. It could have just been a mistake in the book, or a gap in my knowledge. 

So now I am back, programming.  A little bit. I find it enjoyable once again.  I'd love to make a million dollars from something I program some day, but for now, I'm just picking up the path where I left it... Except for now I have twelve more years of maturity, wisdom, and confidence under my belt. It might just make the difference.  Plus, perhaps even more important: my moods are controlled. I'm no longer living in a prolonged stretch of irrational hypomania in a stressed out environment.

What have you quit, and why?  Is it time to revisit?

Seagull Takeoff Near Cannon Beach, Oregon
Picture taken by me :)

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