The Urge To Give Up – What It Means and How to Handle It

When was the last time you felt like giving up?

Every time I am pursuing a goal and I feel like giving up, I get angry with myself.

Why do I feel this way? – I wonder – Where does this random urge to walk away comes from?

Is not a conscious thought or desire, because I usually understand the motivation behind the pursuing of my goals.

Then, why I want to give up?

Attention is a Currency

We must be selective in our attention by focusing on some events to the detriment of others. This is because attention is like a resource that needs to be distributed to those events that are important.” – Russell Revlin on selective attention [Cognition: Theory and Practice]

 

Every single moment of our waking time, we’re subjected to a constant flow of information: the voices of people around us talking, the cars on the street, a dog barking in the distance. You get the picture.

Even in “quiet” environments, such as hospitals or some offices, our attention is drawn to external factors all the time: the copy machine, someone walking down the hall, a phone ringing.

Usually, we don’t pay attention to every single thing that happens around us. We would go crazy if we had to do so. Instead, we focus on certain elements of our environment that we consider to be of utmost importance, while ignoring other distractions.

Mindful Contemplation

There is surely nothing other than the single purpose of the present moment. A man’s whole life is a succession of moment after moment. If one fully understands the present moment, there will be nothing else to do, and nothing else to pursue. Live being true to the single purpose of the moment.” – Yamamoto Tsunetomo

We rush through our days as fast as we can. We have so much to do and so little time. We have come up with “productivity hacks” and tips, tricks and apps to helps us make the most out of our days; to squeeze a few more minutes here and there. We have come up with excuses to have fewer hours of sleep and leisure in order to fill even more our plates. We hardly have time to contemplate anything. Such a luxury is not practical.

But sometimes, even for a second, a wild thought appears. While we stand in the line, while the web page loads or while the app opens, the thought that we must be missing something lingers in the back of our minds. It is quickly dismissed; we don’t have time to think about such things. We have so many things to do before lunch.

Those thoughts that we disregard as a bug in the production software that we think our minds are, won’t go away. Because such thoughts are not a bug, but a warning sign. When we are caught up in the frenzy of doing, having and being more, we are missing something: living.

Pause right now. The world won’t burn down in flames because you stood still for a minute.

Pause for a moment right now to notice where you are. Allow yourself the mindful contemplation of your reality.

On Monday’s Defence

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

 

Every single Monday an endless amount of complaints are posted on every social network showing how much people despise the coming of this day. This has become a weekly tradition and you better share the feeling, or you’ll end up standing in a corner try to figure out what’s wrong with you.

But if you happily wait for Monday, or you simply don’t feel a strong negative emotion associated with its inevitable advent, there is nothing wrong with you. Actually, you are probably saner than most people.

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” – Friedrich Nietzsche