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  • Writer's pictureReflective Resources

K is for Keeping Going

“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy.” Groucho Marx

Sounds easy but sometimes you wake up feeling rubbish and choosing to be positive in the face of difficulties or pain and keeping going is hard. It is easier to give up, throw in the towel or take the easy option and retreat to our comfort zone and do nothing rather than push ourselves into our stretch zone to achieve our goals.

Something that makes a major impact on our ability to ‘keep going’ is previous preparation and our attitude. This does not mean that even then there will not be times when it all seems too much and the road ahead seems daunting. Your feelings and emotions will always be there but but how you respond to them is what is important . There are times, too, when we use genuine self awareness that we realise that the path we are on or the choices that we are making are not right for us at a specific time and we can stop , reassess then carry on in a different way, perhaps even revisiting them at a later date. At other times we may be on the right path but we don’t feel motivated perhaps because of lack of energy or because we are distracted by other things – life in general or something specific like overriding pain.

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

Will Rogers

Our attitude is important. When we know we are on the right path but are just ‘not feeling it’ or wanting to give up then it is necessary to override our overthinking and our emotions by simply taking action despite our feelings.

“We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action.” Dr. Henry Link

It is not necessarily easy but it is helpful if we can see our spiralling thoughts, not as facts, but as unhelpful thoughts which we can learn to defuse and overcome rather than engage with them.

“You don’t need to change your negative thoughts. You just need to change how you engage with them. Observe them, choose not to believe them, then let them naturally pass like clouds in the sky. They will pass. They always do”. Lori Deschene

Keeping going means that we see our thoughts for what they are.

“When you notice that you’re having negative thoughts about how all of this is going to pan out, you need to remind yourself that you are not a very good fortune teller.” Donna W. Hill

When we are struggling, keeping going is about, changing our focus from what we are finding difficult and not allowing ourselves to be blinded to the reality of what we can do.

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” John Wooden

The more we have ingrained helpful habits, built up consistently over time, then the easier it will be for us to override the unhelpful thoughts that threaten to sabotage us and we will be able to keep going forward even if not in the way we originally intended.

“In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.”

Tony Robbins

Action requires us to take the first step

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” Amelia Earhart

Life is uncertain. It is about constantly appraising where we are and not allowing our doubts to overwhelm us.

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” Jimmy Dean

Sometimes it is useful to just allow a space to give way for tears etc but then when we are done and the tension is released, focus on one small achievable task and then without further ado, just do it.

“Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.”

Roy T. Bennett

It is important not to allow ourselves to keep putting off doing things but instead it is more beneficial to just seize the moment and just do it so you have achieved something and are one step closer to where you want to be.

Procrastination makes easy things hard and hard things harder.” Mason Cooley

Keeping going requires belief in our self:

“Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance.” Bruce Barton

Life is difficult sometimes and sometimes it seems difficult to see a path through but it comes back to attitude again. If you “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” Theodore Roosevelt

Keeping going requires us to focus our attention appropriately

“Your destiny is to fulfil those things upon which you focus most intently. So choose to keep your focus on that which is truly magnificent, beautiful, uplifting and joyful. Your life is always moving toward something.” Ralph Marston

Keeping going – is about not giving up. It is about knowing we don’t have to tackle everything at once and we just have to take the first step

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Arthur Ashe

We will all have good days and not so good days. On the good days we feel like we can conquer the world on the not so good days we are unsure whether we can make it through our morning get-up-and-dressed routine let alone the rest of the day. On such occasions, it is very easy to let thoughts overwhelm us and assume that we will not be able to do what we want, but this is exactly the time that we are required to dig deep and fall back on our consistent helpful habits and behaviour patterns.

“You cannot expect victory and plan for defeat.” Joel Osteen

When we have such negative thoughts it is useful to stop and take a step back and see things for how they really are, as neutral events and situations without the weight of emotions and judgment attached.

“Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.” Benjamin Franklin

Keeping going – won’t just happen without a certain amount of background effort and planning.

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.” Robert Collier

You have to put the effort in and be consistent in your actions and then your helpful auto pilot can take over more easily when you are lacking the impetus.

When things do go wrong, we make mistakes or do succumb to overwhelm then it is useful to remember that

“Most great people have attained their greatest success one step beyond their greatest failure.” Napoleon Hill

We need to have courage and persistence and deliberately develop determination.

“Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill

And we should remember to

“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Harriet Beecher Stowe

Keeping going is about knowing when to rest and pacing ourselves

“When you get tired, learn to rest, not quit.” Banksy

Sometimes a change of focus can really help us. By focusing on others can help lift ourselves up. If we focus our attention on others, then, it can help pull us out of the doldrums and change our mood

“The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer somebody else up.” Mark Twain (November 1896 )

Keeping going does not mean that we have to do something amazing every day or with our lives apart from live an authentic life based on our values and at a pace good for our own well-being.

“A constructive, useful life, good works, and good relationships are as valid as writing poetry or inventing a machine. Anything that one does well and obtains satisfaction from is a good enough reason for living. To be a decent human being that people like and feel better for knowing is enough.” Robert Gould

To finish two quotes one from Winnie the Pooh

“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

A.A. Milne

the final thought from /topher kearby

"there's always going to be

a place on your journey where

the trail ends and the cliff

drops off in front of you. the way across isn't clear.

you could go back. go around.

or you could take the leap to

the other side. forward.

toward a future that.

you decide."

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