Attitude 3: Don't give up
Sometimes it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong, truly does. There are certainly times in your life when you might like to crawl into your bed, pull the covers over your head, and never have to face anyone again. As you go through life, you will experience many different ups and downs. Everyone does. In today's world it is easy to assume that everyone else's life is a whole lot better than yours. But no one is immune from experiencing struggles or hardships during their life, or the resulting mental and physical anguish. In dealing with challenges we can be quite happy to wallow in our own misery for a while. The hardest thing is to find the willpower to pick yourself up and to try again. Many of history’s most accomplished people had to overcome significant setbacks in order to succeed. What makes them unique is not their success, but the fact that they didn’t give up when they faced hurdles in front of them. Research shows that people who are more successful in achieving are those that get up each morning with a set of goals or a vision in mind and they continue to work towards them. They learn from their mistakes and don’t allow failures to prevent them from eventually succeeding. I was over moon when I first took delivery of a specially modified vehicle which I could drive from my wheelchair or sit in as a passenger. I was getting back my independence and I was ecstatic until I tried to drive the car. I quickly discovered my arms seemed to be made of ‘wet noodles’ and I struggled to drive the car for longer than 10 minutes at a time. Even this small amount of driving would physically wipe me out for the rest of the day, because of my poor muscular abilities. I could have taken the easy way out and let someone else drive me in the modified vehicle or given up driving altogether. Instead I decided to start from scratch. I thought I can’t drive the way I used to so I’m going to have to find new ways of doing it. My goal was to develop enough stamina and sufficient strength to drive to Perth and back to WA’s South West in a day. This was just one hurdle I needed to overcome to achieve many other goals I had such as getting back into the workforce, be able to drive to Perth and see my friends and to start going to watch football and other sports again. This to me was all about advancing my life, learning to drive a car again and getting my independence back through allowing myself to explore. For three to four times a week I would take out my car and try to drive it for longer on each outing. I certainly didn’t make progress every time. Some days I wouldn’t travel very far and that was really disheartening and very frustrating. After each drive, I would analyse my attempt and try to work out why I hadn’t progressed further and how I could improve on my next driving attempt. It took me two years of constant effort and determination to get there; getting up each day with my goal in mind and working towards it with purpose.
- Key things to remember: Life is not an inspirational poster. Mistakes or set backs are part of everyday life. A mistake is only a mistake if you keep doing the same thing. Don’t give up.