Never Give Up, Never Surrender–Except When You Should

It’s  Theme Day in my world.  All kinds of people  are struggling around the issue of persistence.  One virtual friend is wondering if she should trunk the novel that no one wants to buy; another debates whether they should be forced to study for finals when they “already know absolutely everything there is to know about grade seven math, Mom”.

I’m still rehashing the choice to keep my poopsicle-eating dog after she got in the garbage and dragged the coffee grounds through every room in the house….  (If you’re wondering what the heck I’m referring to, see the post below.)

Anyway, it got me to thinking about a nugget of wisdom I read somewhere a few years ago about coping strategies.  (If this sounds familiar to anyone and they can quote me the source, I’d be immensely, hugely grateful.)

The author said that the world is divided into two kinds of people:  those who quit too early when faced with life’s obstacles, and those who quit too late.   And the trick to a happier life–or so they said–was to know the category in which we ourselves belong, and then work consciously to develop the skill-set of the other group.

I’m definitely in the Spartan-on-his-shield category.  I might moan and grumble and complain, but once set on a course, I’m the freaking Titanic.

Now don’t get me wrong; the quality of perseverance is darn tootin’ helpful in certain circumstances.  It’s probably why I recently celebrated my twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, why I didn’t  cannibalize my children in their colicky, first half-year of life; and why I regularly spend time on my work-in-progress when I could, say, be juggling knives for more fun and profit.

But rather than spend more time on my issues, like how that stubbornness tenacity has cost me dearly at times, I thought a little interactive thingy might be fun.  (Notice the laser-like focus on word choice?  It’s an important skill when you’re trying to be a more better writer.)

So for you, Dear Readers, a poll:

“Which shower guy?” you ask.  Sigh.  Must I do everything for you?  Just look below….

Yowza!  Talk about strategic shower enclosure placement!  And why do I have a sudden urge to try out my microfibre cleaning cloth, although I think there will be nothing “micro” about his “fibre”, if you get my drift.  😉

But seriously, does that paradigm above have any validity, in your experience?  And if so, what has helped you get more balanced  in your approach?

10 thoughts on “Never Give Up, Never Surrender–Except When You Should

  1. hahahahahahahaha!!!

    Brilliant blog.

    I’m definitely the Spartan on the Shield type. I have no choice!!

    Note: Can we have a bit of hair on the chest of the next shower guy? 😀

  2. Sue, you raise a good point about the disturbing lack of Happy Trails in my photos! Thanks for pointing out the oversight. Will do my best to correct in future posts.

  3. Provoking post! And by that I of course mean thought-provoking.

    For big life obstacles, I chug right along. Mastering the daily details is where I need work.

    Right now I am Sparta disciplined about three things: Making the bed. Flossing. And daily exercise. I’m trying to add to the list, but it’s proven diffic—OOH, look at the pretty Internetz!

    In my freelance work, I generally meet my clients’ deadlines–but not in a disciplined manner. I goof around, finally make myself write, and hit “send” at 4:59 p.m. on the day the project is due.

    I’m trying to view this as having an exquisite sense of timing.

    What encourages me in tackling new challenges is looking at the small successes. If I can floss even when I’m tired, or after an evening of margaritas, then dammit, I can keep at my book.

    So back to work! Right after I scroll up to review Jan’s point of view.

    1. MJ, when I grow up I want to be you, re the commitment to exercise. I know better, I have the pedometer and the two dogs to stare at me soulfully, but do ya think I can get out for my walk consistently…?

      As for meeting deadlines at the absolute last possible minute, I have no idea what you’re talking about. 🙂

  4. I am flighty, and constantly fighting it. I schedule ferociously just to keep myself in line, and that works… about 50% of the time.

    Less, when you post pics like that. Jeeeeeeeeeeesus. *averts eyes*

    1. Hee, Amy. Interesting shadows in this pic, aren’t there. And I think if you’re hitting 50%, you’re doing downright awesome!

  5. Excellent pic, I mean, post. 😀

    Where I fall depends totally on the situation. Sometimes I’m stubborn as Sparta; other times I’m a total quitter. I keep analyzing, trying to discover what makes the difference, and I’m not getting anywhere. Can’t find that common denominator, though I’m sure there is one.

  6. Trust a writer to get all “nuanced” on me, Tracey. 😉 If you figure out that common denominator, will you let me know?

    And thanks. You’ve given me an idea for another post about models of change in the psych/medical literature. It’ll probably be dry as dust, but might be worth it…

  7. there was a poll? seriously? I lost track of everything you said after I scrolled down the page:)

    just kidding! thanks for the the thought provoking post.

    1. So that’s my problem, Stephanie, LOL. I think all of 4 people have voted, but plenty more were willing to punch his ticket. 😉

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