Thomas Edison once said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up”.

Think about the meaning of that statement for a moment. Really.

Imagine pouring hours upon hours of effort and hope into something important to you – then giving it all up when you hit that certain level of discouragement.

Imagine what sort of stories of denial and rationalization you might create in order to explain the whole effort away to yourself and others: to minimize its weight in order to save you from embarrassment. Or of the dreadful feelings of precious time wasted. Or of the realization that you were wrong – that you were not as competent as you had hoped. Or of the feelings of frustration, depression, and loss…

Or maybe you’ve already done this. The truth is that people do it all the time.

But what if we were destined to reach our goal the very next day after we decided to quit? It’s impossible to ever know, of course, but it is a very real possibility.

We all know the story of Thomas Edison’s failures, perseverance, and ultimate successes – but, unfortunately, stories like these often tend to inspire us for the moment but have no real lasting impact (or worse yet, we become desensitized to them so that they carry no real impact for us at all anymore).

So, again, think seriously about this quote for a moment. What could it mean for your life and your journey? What do you really want? When have you quit and (falsely) rationalized the whole effort away? Where do sometimes feel like just throwing in the towel? Or where do you keep justifying your decision to not get started on that one special thing?

The good news is that we can avoid the pain of failure by never ceasing to try.

And even if we were to die trying, then at least we’d have died on a path to success. And isn’t that better than looking back at the end of it all and saying, “what if”?

Author's Bio: 

Chris Hammer, Ph.D. is a certified professional coach and licensed psychologist. He offers leadership and life coaching services, as well as various self-development tools for people who are passionate about reaching higher levels of success and becoming the best they can be.

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