“Our greatest weakness lies in the fact that we give up. The best way to succeed, is always to try just one last time.“Thomas Edison
I have to admit. I used to give up alot. Whenever something seemed too hard, or if it seemed like it would take too much effort, I was done. It seems like such a silly thing to admit, but for many, this is an incredible internal struggle that only seems to get stronger as we grow older. For human beings, giving up is the easiest decision to make. For us it means that we no longer have to seemingly deal with a situation. We no longer have to fight for what we want. We can just go through life on the easy, broad road because there will be no-one there to object. But is it really worth it? Will giving up really get you what you want? No. It won’t.
When I was in 6th form in high school, most of the students were applying for college. At the time, I wanted to go, but I never really thought of how I would go. It might seem like a no-brainer if your parents are relatively rich or well off, but mine were not. My mother and father worked very long hours and sacrificed a huge portion of their lives to send my sisters and I to school on a daily basis. There were times when I envied the other students who had “Burger King” lunches, and came to school in chauffeured cars while I took the bus. At times I wished I had it that easy.
The college application process, for many, entails filling out forms, and in the tuition field it is commonplace to insert *name of the parent or financial institution which would be responsible for that part of the process. In every direction I turned, the people around me would tell me to write “Student Loans,” but something inside, that small voice said no. One week before our applications were due to be handed in, I told my mom that I would not be applying for student loans as I did not want to have that burden after completing college. What I didn’t tell them is that I believed that God would supply a scholarship for me. At the end of that short conversation, I was made to sign up for student loans.
I had spoken to a teacher of mine about possibly applying for scholarships, and with her encouragement, I applied for every scholarship that I would have been eligible for. The scholarship count totaled thirty-two. School was set to start in September of the next year, and in late July I was approved for student loans with an additional grant to purchase textbooks for school. I was ecstatic. This was it for me. The story, however, doesn’t end here. School began and it seemed that all hope of me ever receiving a scholarship had long passed. I went through my days struggling with the fact that I would be bound to these student loans until the day I died. Exactly two weeks after school started, I received a call from the Ministry of Education. They wanted to interview me for one of the scholarships I had applied for.
With an umbrella in hand, and donning a clean, crisp shirt and pants, I walked into the office. There were approximately fifteen other students waiting in the lobby. All wore matching black suits, and had messenger bags or briefcases resting on their lap. I thought I had no chance of ever going up against them, and succeeding. Boy, I have never been so happy to be so wrong. Two weeks after the interview, while I was walking home at 7 PM, I got a call. I had gotten the scholarship. This meant that all of my tuition, miscellaneous fees, medical costs, book rentals and transportation costs to school would be covered for the next three years. I had received my promise and not a moment too soon.
I tell this story, not to boast about my “free ride,” but to tell you to never ever give up. When that voice inside tells you that something is too hard, shove a snicker down its throat because “you‘re not you when you‘re hungry.” Colonel Sanders was an old man when he sold his first piece of fried chicken. If he had given up, we wouldn’t have the awesomeness that is KFC today. If Steve Jobs had given up, we wouldn’t have the might Apple Incorporated that exists today. In fact, we’d probably still be banging away on our Motorola Razors. (Just kidding. I loved this phone!)
I encourage you to chase your dreams. Reach for the stars, and you might just land safely on a cloud. Don’t you dare give up before the race has even started. Do not let the fear of defeat prevent you from even trying. I stopped giving up a long time ago, and I ended up living in a beautiful place in Japan with a job which has allowed me to discover a part of myself I never even knew existed. Can you imagine what life would probably have been life if I had stopped giving up sooner?
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