It seemed like a good thing to do at the time - sign up for an online course to transform myself into the fully actualized being I know I can be for myself and my family. I was ready to make the commitment. First, I put down the $1000 from my second paycheck at my new job realizing that this was going to lead me to the path of success. This was for my family and a way to reverse all the bad events from my past.
At the time of writing this I have not published anything. I haven't logged into the online course for weeks. I am seriously behind, week behind. I missed the first deadline, the second, and here we are.
I ALREADY HAVE SO MUCH ON MY PLATE
Let's take into account I haven't posted anything on Facebook for 3 years because I've been overwhelmed with my life running a startup company and starting a family. My friends don't even know that I've had a second child let alone a third. I'm worried that I've lost my friends now that so much life has happened without knowing anything. Shouldn't I be trying to spend my precious extra minutes reconnecting with them instead of this online course/challenge?
I DON'T WANT TO BE DEPRESSED
Honestly, it's depressing to see everyone else posting in the online course/challenge about the tasks they are completing. Of course, these posts are on Facebook which I need to do, as well. But first, don't I need to update my profile? I have a backlog just to start using Facebook again. Where do I even begin? I haven't had the time to put down my notes on the first article I was going to write. I've already fallen behind and the hole to get out keeps getting deeper. I feel like this course to make a better person and more disciplined has made me feel overwhelmed. I have a lot of other responsibilities I'm neglecting already.
THIS IS NOT THE RIGHT TIME
Look, I have 3 kids under 5 years old with the youngest barely 2 months. I've just started a job where I'm responsible for building out all the content for the new website, revamp the marketing material, implement a CRM, increase business development opportunities and sales. Each one of these responsibilities is a full-time job in and of itself. I have 5 jobs under one title and the expectation to deliver on all of them yesterday. Maybe I bit off more than I can chew and need to be honest enough to admit it? Why not try again next year when things have settled down a bit?
TRULY I'D RATHER BE...
The kicker is that I have sacrifice precious "me" time to participate in this online course. I'd rather be watching a movie, a sporting event, or a documentary on Ancient Aliens than journaling. I'd rather be trying to sleep-in and spoon my beautiful wife. Fortunately, the 2 month old has spoon blocked me, so I have that to motivate me to just get up in the pitch black pre-dawn hours. Still I have to jump out of a warm, cozy bed next to a hot body and get out in a cold dark house to journal about my goals. At that time my goal is to get back into my warm bed with my hot wife. Then there's the cold showers. Modern society was built on being able to pipe hot water into the bathroom for hot showers. That's where I do all my thinking, but not when it's cold. I can't even think except how fast I can wash the necessary body parts and get out of there.
THE DIRTY LITTLE SECRET
I really don't want to tell my wife that I spent nearly $1000 on me. That I spent $1000 to journal about my goals and post them on FB. My reality is that we just went through a bankruptcy after closing down the company I started over 7 years ago. Now I have a job that is paying a decent wage for the first time since I started my company and my family. We are literally just pulling ourselves out of financial ruin with 3 children and still debt that could not be discharged. How I'm going to tell her that I just spent $1000 to be successful?
I already feel the pressure to perform in so many areas of my life - now add one more. If I tell my wife that I paid $1000 to be part of this online course then I guarantee the pressure to perform will become even more uncomfortable - and that is the best outcome. She might just conclude that I'm a fool and start making plans to co-parent. Best I just quit now and pretend this never happened.
BUT THEN IT OCCURS TO ME
I login to my bank account and see that charge for $1000 on my statement. What am I doing? What have I done? I look into the mirror and see how the stress from my recent past has worn into my face. My age is showing now that I've passed 40 and there's no looking back. I've burnt my candle at both ends and know that there won't be many chances to right this ship.
I look at my 3 children with the love only a parent knows. I recognize that my life is not all about me anymore. It's not about how comfortable I feel this morning. It's about how comfortable they feel this morning and every morning until they're 18 (and maybe even longer). I realize that I need to live up to the person I want to be for my family. As Dr. Alex Likcerman stated in Psychology Today "Why We Quit" -
The key to success is simply to keep coming back for more—even if you quit short of your goal several times over—until you find yourself strong enough not to give in when your body or your mind are telling you to. Just because you do quit—even a hundred times in a row—the experiences you have up until the various points at which you do are the very things that develop the resilience you need to win in the end. What if you need to fail a hundred times to gain the ability to succeed on the 101st?
This is not to say that any of this will be easy. Starting the online course right now might be too little too late. Even if I lose the online contest I'm going to be better than when I started. Hopefully, it'll get easier as I go along, but right now it's difficult and that's okay. Maybe there's a boobie prize? A final quote from Dr. Alex Likcerman in "Why We Quit" posted in Psychology Today -
Even if you failed because you chose to give up, you can still try again. You must constantly remind yourself that having tried at all has increased your chances of ignoring the voices in your head urging you to quit the next time. Always remember, the key to victory is strength, and the key to developing strength is trying again, no matter what the reason you failed before.
So, based on Dr. Lickerman's work quitting is not the end result - it is part of the process. I will quit all the way to success because I'll never give up. And I know you won't either.