Don't give up

There is a well-known quotation voiced by sanguine positive motivational thinkers, which is, “It is always the darkest hour before dawn”. And indeed it is, for prior to the outbreak of dawn, the sky is in its pitch blackest, but then, what happens? The eerie stark darkness of night yields to a sudden flurry of brightness as dawn breaks and the luminous moon and stars bid adieu. The figurative meaning of the above quotation is not difficult to infer: It means that when things are going haywire in one’s life and only antagonistic negative thoughts surface, one should pull up one’s socks (figuratively) and grab the bull by its horns in order to flaunt a show of courage and chivalry for even in the direst of situations, there is always a modicum of hope.

The difference between a winner and a loser or a successful person and an unsuccessful person is the ability to see hope after trauma and travail. The winner is not necessarily one adept or stronger, but one who is able to sustain one’s self against all odds. How true is the following oft-quoted quotation, “Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man/ But sooner or later, the man who wins is the man who thinks he can.” Therefore, one should be determined to think positive and with courage of conviction even during times when the situation is loaded against one.

However, if success was so simple and naïve, then everyone would be successful. As one knows, life isn’t that simplistic, and God has thrown in each one’s paths challenges and travails. How one conquers them to emerge triumphant is up to how one sizes up the situation, calls on all one’s last vestiges of energy and faces the situation with equanimity and courage. It would do one well not to press the panic and anxiety buttons, but to slow down to devise a panacea for the situation and a way out. One could bank on the reassurances of God, pray earnestly and sincerely and remember this quotation, “If God can help, He will. Otherwise He is confident that you by yourself can solve it.”

A good question to ask is: Since troubles do cause a lot of chagrin and pain, why does God give them to us in the first place? Life would be too smooth, uninteresting and uneventful if everything went according to plan without any hiccups. So, God may have given trials and tribulations so that we turn to Him for sustenance and succour. I believe that behind every vicissitude, there is an underlying reason and logic, which may seem incomprehensible at that time, but becomes transparently evident in the course of time.

In sum, one should not give up during times of travail, but look God firmly in the eye, and overcome the travail. One should not indulge in self-pity but instead one should see the overall bigger picture and act accordingly without pettiness or smallness of mind. How successful one is in life will not depend on one’s achievements, laurels and accolades, but how one behaved during one’s lowest phase and conquered it without being unduly perturbed. So, keep going, don’t give up or give in, but give it all you’ll got, for remember in the final analysis, “Where there’s a will, there’s not only a way, but a highway.”

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