Ever Felt Like Giving Up?
The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.” -Albert Camus
I LOVE TO READ and as any reader will know, one can get so immersed in a book and its characters that it is easy to understand what they are experiencing at any given moment. That way, we laugh with their stories, cry when something bad happens to any of them, celebrate their victories, and suffer their struggles all along, hoping that they will continue to fight against all the obstacles, and they will triumph against all odds. We want those characters to keep on trying even when everything seems dark, to fulfill their destiny, to follow their dreams, to never give up!
Now back to real, non-fiction life. We work, study, take care of our families, manage our own businesses; a plethora of activities to be completed in 24 hours! We tend to make compromises, knowing sometimes that not everything is going to be done, or in some cases, juggling with everything trying to do it all at once. It comes a time when the pressure it is just unbearable and we see no way out of the situation. That precise moment, when we think that there is no way out, that we cannot handle it anymore, is the moment we decide to quit.
And that made me think: Am I encouraging myself to continue fighting against the difficulties as I do with a fiction character? What am I giving up? And why am I doing it?
First, let´s identify the reasons why we tend to abandon things:
- Lack of motivation –Why do I have to do this? I don´t even like it.
- Lack of purpose – What am I going to get from this?
- Own limitations -I don’t think I am capable/smart/experienced enough to do it.
- Fear of the unknown- I´d rather stay the way I am now, than
- No structured plan- I really don´t know how to do this.
I am not expert on solving issues; in fact, this year has been one of the hardest, emotionally speaking. This is far from being a “how to solve your problems in 5 simple steps” kind of article. It might be more of an insight of how have I have been dealing with adversity lately. And once again, let me use my passion for reading to explore our daily struggles.
Let´s meet Sisyphus. In Greek mythology, Sisyphus, for those of you who still don´t know, was a king of what we know now as Corinth, a quite deceitful and too smart for his own good guy who was capable of killing and lying in order to increase his fortune. For this and many other things, he got his punishment: he was blinded and forced to roll an enormous boulder up a hill, and right at the moment before of getting to the top of the hill, to watch it roll back down and to repeat this for eternity.
Not the king of happy-ending-uplifting-inspirational stories we usually read, and expect right? Calm down, I am not done yet…
We already know this does not end well. No matter what, Sisyphus will keep on rolling up his boulder over and over again. We can imagine him murmuring, cursing, wishing to die instead of doing it again, thinking of ways to avoid the task, or we can imagine him happy, in peace with his situation, or as writer Albert Camus puts it, knowing that “The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.” Sisyphus can feel the freedom for a brief moment, when he is done pushing up, and the boulder is rolling down, before he has to start over. Even when he was blind, he could imagine the view from the top of the hill, feel the breeze on his face and regain strength to overcome the next step.
What did I learn from this?
-I can’t run away from the problems, they will end up catching up on me or wait for me to come back.
-No matter how hard it seems, I am free to feel happy and react accordingly.
-Nobody is given more than they can handle… THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time”. -Thomas A. Edison
WHAT IS THE ROCK YOU ARE PUSHING UP HILL? Comment below.