Mickey in suit, bowtie, and hat on right, Winston Churchill dressed similarly on left, text underlay: "Never Give In."

Never Give In

“Regret for what you never tried weighs heaviest of all.”

Never give up on yourself.

You. Will. Fail. You will fall—get back up! Do it differently. Get better.

Never stop striving.

Never stop.

Never give in. Never give in.

Never, never, never.

Boy, I was feeling low. Nothing I was writing or doing seemed to be connecting with anyone. I was singing, I was shouting, I was talking…and all into the void. My words were grains of salt dissolved by the ocean, and nothing I was doing was making a bit of difference.

I was feeling pretty darn down on myself, and I could sense that I could start a downward spiral.

“I’m not good enough. I can’t do this. I’m not cut out for it. No matter how hard I try, I’m just not improving!” and on, and on, down the rabbit hell-hole I go.

So, I had this bright idea that I would simultaneously pull myself up out of my slumps and hopefully also give someone else maybe experiencing the same down-on-himself feelings some pick-me-up words of his own.

Two people grasping hands against a cliff face, text overlay: There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up. —John Holmes
“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” —John Holmes

I’ve been on Twitter…X…Xwitter, whatever, for a very long time, and though I haven’t amassed a sizable following, it’s a fine public forum to share thoughts and insights (and memes—all the memes).

So, I shot off off a Tweet. Xweet. Zhweet. Whatever. I wrote about my feelings on there. I said:

Naïvely, I thought that was pretty innocuous. Perhaps even—dare I say—uplifting! This is (I thought) something that applies pretty much universally. I even put some qualifiers in there so that there’d be some built-in checkpoints. The late great Winston Churchill left room for honor and good sense. I included time and insight.

All good.

Oh, look! Someone I respect and admire Quote-Tweeted me. How amazing…and…uplifting! I can’t wait to see what he wrote, let’s…let’s check in, shall we?


This is the worst advice I have read in my entire life.


Some activities / business models / writing projects / whatever are bad, and will never pay dividends.

You need to identify those and cut your losses.

Seriously, this is TERRIBLE advice and you should repent.

Oh. Well. Shhi—heck.

As you might imagine, this did not immediately eliminate my downward spiral. Well, it took out the “spiral” part.

Soooo…with an ungodly amount of poise and a conscious, nerve-rasping will to not give myself over to a week-long pity party, I decided…to double down.

The first thing I wrote was reactionary—well…the first response that I actually Tweeted: By the time it made it to Twitter, it was well-toned down from the very first thing that I wrote.

To clarify (I followed up), this was intended to be bigger picture. Not, "Keep jumping off of roofs until you fly," but rather: Never stop trying to fly.

If your only success is avoiding alcoholic escapism and an early grave, then that's still success.

Twitter's great for rapid feedback.

Even that was a bit too cringy, in my estimation, so I deleted it shortly after I published it. Instead, I posted this, but not as a response:

You are a cause that must never be lost.

I also took a couple of others lessons from this. The first, is that you alone are responsible for the message you send out.

Winston Churchill, the unofficial mascot of this article, is said to have said:

…or maybe that was an old Budweiser ad; how the Internet loves to misattribute.

Old Budweiser advertisement titled, "You can't tell him there's no fishin'." Text from ad highlighted: "success was never final and failure never fatal. It was the courage to continue that counted."

Well, Nelson Mandela definitely said,

Black backgound with photo of Nelson Mandela's face. Quote:
"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

The second lesson was:

Once I picked my heart up off the floor, wiped off the dirt and most of the bootprints, and stuffed it back into my chest, I looked at the rest of the thread—yup, he made a whole thread about my little pick-me-up(-and-stomp-my-heart-on-the-floor) Tweet. (I’m OK.)

One of the top 3 worst decisions of my life (probably top 2, actually) was trying to keep my "startup" (small business) alive for 6 more years after the crash of '08.

Should have just shut it down and walked away.

So, while the responsibility is on you to communicate your message, remember that no matter how well you write, how carefully you speak, the person who receives what you’ve said will do so in the context of her own experiences, her own perspective.

A love song when you’re lonely is an Ode to Sadness.

There’s an important moral in there:

“People aren’t against you; they are for themselves.”

—Lao Tzu

Coincidentally—or maybe not—the rest of that Lou Tzu quote is wholly relevant to what we’re talking about here:

Painting of Lao Tzu with quote:
People are not against you; they are for themselves.

The most dangerous risk of all?—the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet that you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.

He who conquers others is strong.
He who conquers himself is mighty.
—Lao Tzu

What do you want to accomplish? Why do you want to accomplish it?

The answer to that second question—the why—kicks the ass of “what” every day and twice on Sunday.

I’ve said it before:

In a very real sense, you are your aspirations.

What do you aspire to do? To build?

Who do you aspire to be?

Never give up on that. Never give in on your “why.” That’s the star that steers you, that guides you, and it’s there even when the storm clouds drape the sky in rain and wind and gray.

The clouds will clear, and you well see your star again.

Never, never, never give in. No matter what anyone tells you.

I’m going to paraphrase some of the rest of that speech by Sir Winston Churchill, because though we are not battling in a worldwide war against the quintessence of evil, we are in an often lonely battle against forces that seem beyond our strength:

Never yield to adversity. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming force of those who advise you to stop, to save yourself trouble, hardship, heartbreak. At times, you will stand all alone, and to many, it will seem that your account is closed. That you are finished.

But very different is the mood when appraising the successful. Those who stood in the gap. Those who did not flinch. The sort who did not give in; and by what seems almost a miracle to those outside our doors, though we ourselves never doubt it, we eventually find ourselves in a position where I say we can be sure that we have only persevere to conquer.

We must learn to be equally good at what is short and sharp and what is long and tough. When you make up your mind that the thing has to be done and the job put through and finished, then, even if it takes months—if it takes years—you do it.

Another lesson I think we may take, is that appearances are often very deceptive, and we must ‘meet with Triumph and Disaster,’ and treat those two impostors just the same.”

Fix in your eye, in your mind, in your heart, and in your very soul, why you strive. And let nothing stand in your way.

Least of all your own self doubts.

In the clarion voice of another great one:


Excelsior. Ever onward. Ever upward.

Ever eyes upon the prize.

The time is yours.

Take it. All the way home.

And never. Give. Up.

Watch the video:

Similar Posts