Sometimes, it’s as simple as embracing a mantra and then walking the walk. NEVER STOP is a good one. What I mean is that, after vetting a treasured goal of yours, you can resolve to never give up on it and never give in to those oppose it.
NEVER STOP is the antidote to despair.
First, select the goal. It might be repairing a treasured relationship that has fractured. It might be building a business that you are truly dedicated to. It might be furthering your political beliefs. It might be pursuing a career.
Make sure the goal is integral to your self-expression. Make sure it is something you are truly passionate about. Make sure you’re willing to take risks to pursue it. Make sure, even, that it is essential to you feeling your life had the meaning you intended it to. As Rainer Maria Rilke, author of Letters to a Young Poet, said about writing:
In the deepest hour of the night, confess to yourself that you would die if you were forbidden to write. And look deep into your heart where it spreads its roots, the answer, and ask yourself, must I write?
Rilke argued that if the question could be honestly answered, “No, I really don’t need to write,” then it was best to forget being a writer. Now, that’s a very pure and unsparing view of the matter, but it does get one thinking.
Don’t embrace a NEVER STOP goal lightly. Don’t half-mean it. Do everything you can to resist self-doubt eroding it, to resist others trying to scare you away from it and to resist believing it has moved inextricably out of reach. Until you decide the goal is unreachable, it isn’t.
Here’s a quote of Calvin Coolidge’s about persistence to keep close at hand:
Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
― Calvin Coolidge
Dr. Keith Ablow