Sometimes I will be trying hard to talk with a “customer service” representative to resolve an issue, request a credit or ask for a reduction in my bills. Each and every time that I have this goal, I am put on hold for interminable amounts of time, the call gets accidentally disconnected and I have to start over, sometimes a half dozen times. I am greatly tempted to just give up. I am greatly tempted to get very angry and just live with the cost of the mistakes of others. This is not a good life strategy.
Several years ago, I lost a job and had to take work that was an hours drive away and paid substantially less. I worked very hard at improving myself. I dedicated myself to learning this job. In the mean time, I worked very hard at finding a new job. I was on Linked-In, I had a great resume’, I applied for jobs every week. I went to several interviews and was turned down. One morning in July, on my drive in to work, my resolve broke and I cried and cried. I was endlessly tired from the long days. I didn’t fit into my work world and I was deeply unhappy at work. It didn’t help that every penny of what I made was just getting the bills paid.
Suddenly a song came on the radio: ‘Hold Onto Your Dreams’. That song, at that moment, was all I needed. I held on and soon I was transferred close to home with an incredible raise. That struggle didn’t end there, it took me three more years to land where I needed to be, but every time I got discouraged I remembered that moment in the car and that song.
I think that my life would be incredibly different if I couldn’t hang on and keep trying even when things seem very bad. That extra effort is what brings me to the win almost every time.
The second benefit is that it really helps to keep me from faulty thinking. Or, at least it helps to keep my faulty thinking from controlling my decisions.
I was single for a very long time. There were times when I thought that I must be flawed and that’s why I could not find an enduring relationship. In this area of my life I knew that I couldn’t give up. I did everything that I could to understand myself so that I could be a good partner. Eventually it worked. Eventually I found my life partner and it only happened because I was willing to keep on taking chances and to keep on trying.
Imagine me getting discouraged and giving up, single, broke and downhearted. It doesn’t seem possible now.