Have you ever been so exhausted that you just gave up on a goal or dream? I have.

Child sleeping with exhaustion

If you have, you don’t look back on that time with fondness, do you?

That’s because you know deep down inside that the moment when the exhaustion was at its peak, your goal or dream was within reach. When you let the fatigue become an excuse to give up, you give in to the enemy of your dreams. Call it Resistance. Call it the devil. Call it fear. Whatever it is, when you give in to fatigue, you give up on greatness.

Like a Child

I wrote about this before in a post entitled Childlike Persistence. Young children don’t know how to give up. It’s not in us from birth. If it were, we would never walk, because learning to walk is hard. It’s exhausting. It’s painful. We fail at it thousands of times before we succeed.

As an adult, how many times do you allow yourself to fail thousands of times before you succeed?

You know the story of Thomas Edison…he failed thousands of times before finally inventing the light bulb. It’s a cute story, but do you apply it to your life?

When Quitting Becomes an Option

I still remember my first golf tournament. It was nearly twenty years ago, but the memory is still seared in my memory.

I quit.

The pain of quitting still haunts me. That is how detrimental quitting can be.

Somewhere along the way, the kid I was playing with mentioned that he had quit during a tournament round. Prior to that, the thought never crossed my mind. I never knew it was an option. I assumed that if you started, you were required to finish.

I was playing poorly, and with two holes left I quit.

My father had dropped me off that morning and had to go to work. I was to ride home with one of the guys who worked for him. But as I walked up the last hole alone, not playing it but walking with my head down as others finished their rounds, I saw him. I saw my father.

He had some all that way to see me finish my first tournament round. He did not care how I played, only that I finished. As long as I live, I will never forget the look on his face or that painful ride home.

Quitting became an option that day. It opened up a whole new world of failure, lack, pain, and regret.

Don’t Be Average

Giving up is ingrained in our culture. Marriages don’t “work out.” Businesses become “too time-consuming.” Our dreams become “too far-fetched” along the way.

So we give up just as we’re about to have a breakthrough. We allow fatigue to rule our lives.

But not you.

You are not average.

You know that fatigue is a sign that you are close to a breakthrough. You know that exhaustion is a normal part of a life of greatness.


Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook | Click to Tweet Quote

I’ve asked these before, but I will ask them again:

What have you been tempted to give up on but have fought through or are fighting through?

Complete this sentence: No matter what, I will ___________________________.

23 thoughts on “Exhaustion

  1. Christine Niles says:

    Perfect timing, Matt. Thanks!! I feel very behind on a lot of things, and I’ve been debating letting a few things go. Instead of quitting, what I really need to do is get a little more intentional about my time.

    No matter what, I will return to my personal writing (both my blog and my fiction WIP).

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      Well said Christine. I can’t be the judge, but there might be one thing you need to let go so you can dominate in other areas.

      But, the first step is to not give up and then, after giving it your all, you might let one thing go.

      1. Mark Sieverkropp says:

        Exactly Matt! There’s a difference between making a conscious decision to stop doing something and quitting. There are definitely times to stop doing things that dont contribute to our goals or we were somehow got talked into something.

      2. Christine Niles says:

        You’re both dead-right. Here’s to intentional choices. 🙂

      3. Mark Sieverkropp says:

        here here!

  2. I been struggling with giving up working in the non-profit world. Aggh….everyone thinks you can do good with no resources.
    No mattah what, I will not give up working with those in need.

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      That is definitely a worthy thing to non give up on Jim.

    2. Steve Pate says:

      I know your world Jim. The idea we need to do a lot with little is not always easy but it sure is fun sitting back and watching those folks enjoy all the hard work that went into their experience.

  3. Lily Kreitinger says:

    No matter what, I will continue to build my dream.

  4. Mark Sieverkropp says:

    The visual of children not giving up is so vivid for me!! With a 4 year old and a 4 month old I see it all the time. My daughter does not stop until she cannot physically keep her eyes open any longer. She will play for hours, she will build stuff for hours, and she doesn’t stop. What a huge example that is for us adults!!

    In my life I feel like I go back and forth. I give up, then start again, give up and start again. I remember something I quit that haunted me for months and months. I actually started again, then quit again, then started again. I finally came to the determination that it wasnt for me, and made the conscious to stop. Which is very different from quiting.
    I think its important to realize you can stop something, but make the conscious decision because you decide its not for your, or it doesn’t mesh with your goals, rather than quitting because something’s too hard.
    No matter what, I will continue discovering my purpose and finding ways to fulfill that purpose.

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      I am with you on that Mark. I often find that I can go for hours…as in 2. Then it’s time for a nap.

      1. Mark Sieverkropp says:

        yeah, two is definitely the far end!

  5. Jana Botkin says:

    No matter what, I will complete 230 pencil drawings this year so I can publish “The Cabins of Wilsonia” in 2014.

    Gotta go draw now!

  6. Steve Pate says:

    NO matter what, I’ll keep learning and stop allowing half truths to speak into me.

    1. Mark Sieverkropp says:

      ooooh half truths! They should be called half lies!

  7. Kathy Leicester says:

    No matter what, I will continue to be uncomfortable, and an effective leader.

  8. Jeff Machado says:

    No matter what, I will pursue my monthly goals with the same passion on day 30 as day 1.

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      Don’t forget day 31 some months 😉

      Great resolve Jeff. Love it.

  9. Jon Stolpe says:

    No matter what…I will keep stretching.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *