“Being all you can be” is a common cliche, but is a very, very worthy goal. When you think about it, you could say that it’s the purpose of living (it’s a shame the army dropped it as their tag line in their advertising, and I’ve heard their enrollment has dropped ever since).
When it comes to the road you’re on to be everything you can be, when you look around, you no doubt see many people that already have this kind of life and are already there.
What you also may notice is that they’re no smarter, stronger, driven, deserving, or didn’t have any more of interesting of an upbringing or story than you.
They just may have been exposed to influences that you weren’t exposed to, and therefore made decisions that you didn’t make.
When it comes to these decisions in life, we’re tempted to think they’re not life or death. I mean, it’s not like being in the military where a wrong choice will get you killed. In life, when you face trouble or resistance, you can always quit.
When it comes to quitting, I have an interesting story to tell you …
I have a friend of mine who was in the Navy for some time, and he told me what it was like for the first few weeks.
For the first three weeks, they ask you all the time if you want to quit. Whenever you look like you’re about to wimp out or you have that look on your face like you can’t handle it, they’ll just blatantly come in your face and ask you “hey, do you want to quit?”.
If you want to quit, you can just go over and ring out. They make it very simple to quit, but is it really? Here’s what really happens …
When you do quit, they don’t let you go home right away. You have to hang out for a few weeks until it’s time to ship out. You have to turn in your finely pressed uniform. You’re not allowed to partake in any more classes, drills, or activities. You just have to wear sweats, hang out with the other quitters, and walk around bored to death.
They make you do this for weeks before they allow you to leave. This also acts as a discouragement because all of the other people that are still in training see the pathetic conditions that the quitters are left in.
When he told me this story, the significance of it really hit me. Because quitting in life is the same way except the period of shame doesn’t just last for a few weeks: it lasts for a lifetime. You have to go around, bored to death, looking shabby, with nothing to do, and hang out with all the other quitters while you watch the people just like you in every way (just different because they refused to quit) get to do all the fun interesting stuff, and get all the glory and accomplishments.
Unlike the military, when you quit and give up, it’s not something that passes after a few weeks. You have to live with it for a lifetime. Whatever your goal and whatever road you’re on, I just have one piece of advice for you: don’t quit.
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