April 20

Winning with a Never Give Up Attitude


Winning with a Never Give Up Attitude

By Deborah Johnson

April 20, 2023

fixed mindset, Goal setting, growth mindset, imposter syndrome, marathon, podcast, Thomas Edison, Vincent Van Gogh, Walt Disney, Winston Churchill

To never give up doesn’t mean one will never change her mind. Tenacity and fortuitousness includes the flexibility to evaluate and shift focus if needed. However, many people quit too soon. One of the phrases Winston Churchill (1874-1965) was known best for during World War II was to "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in (or never give up!) except to convictions of honor and good sense." I think he made his point quite clear!

But to never give up is easier to profess than to actually apply. Some have defined a state of insanity as repeating the same action over and over obtaining the same result, which is often failure. But failure is usually the result from the lack of careful evaluation along with the refusal to change. Evaluation and flexibility, along with the spirit of never giving up is more likely to produce success. The inspiring message of never give up is one that is very relevant as it applies to relationships, health decisions, business and many additional areas of life. Here, we cover five basic principles to apply.

Women at Halftime by Deborah Johnson Wining with a Never Give Up Attitude with Deborah Johnson 4-25-2023
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One: Define Where You Want to Be

Walt Disney (1901-1966) had a dream. His goal was to be the very best animator, but he faced bankruptcy and impending failure. He also dreamed of a park that would be the happiest place on earth. Disneyland opened on July 17, 1955 in Anaheim, California. They had planned for success! However, the first day of operation became known as Black Sunday as it was chaotic and plagued with issues.

With the capacity of 15,000 visitors, an estimated 28,000 showed up along with traffic jams. Many of the rides did not work and neither did the water fountains with the temperature over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. But Walt remained optimistic with his end goal stated clearly. I have personally worked for the Disney organization in the entertainment division for many years their mission still stands even though it’s tempting to dilute at times. There are positive slogans painted backstage on most every wall, keeping the end goal of the happiest place on earth in mind.

There are many examples of the importance of defining a destination from determining a flight plan to implementing a treatment for an illness. A path can shift and change with evaluation, but determining the end goal saves time, resources and increases the chance for success.  Some of our most popular downloads are on Goal Setting. Get them here: Goal Setting Worksheets

Two: Attitude of Perseverance

Tenacity and perseverance are words thrown around by many coaches today. When working on my very first music album called Destiny, the engineer called me tenacious. I had to go look up the word as I wondered if he was calling me a bad name. I have since that day proudly owned that attribute as I have discovered how important tenacity is as composer, creative artist and writer. History also teaches us the importance of perseverance.

On March 15, 1915, the British Navy attacked the Turks at the Dardanelles. There was a terrific naval barrage from the guns on the shore. Three ships had been sunk, and finally at noon, the British Navy withdrew, never to take that point during the engagement. What they didn’t know was that the Turks had only sixty seconds of ammunition left and at that very moment were preparing to surrender. But the British quit!

Had the British Navy been persistent and continued to press the battle, they would have taken the Dardanelles, split the enemy forces, closed the war years earlier, and saved millions of lives. This example raises a good question. Are you quitting too soon? You may be feeling stuck but you also may only be sixty seconds away from success. I wrote of this story in  Stuck is Not a Four letter Word (pg. 160) and it’s also in the online course based on the book: Change Your Life Get Unstuck. This illustration from history reminds us to look carefully at our situation and evaluate honestly what it will take to complete a task we’ve have begun.

Three: Take Responsibility and Accept Failure

Accepting failure is a part of life. There many small examples we can provide from eating the wrong foods while dieting to the failure of preparing adequately for a business or sales meeting. We can take responsibility for those types of failures and evaluate what changes should occur for the future. The problem lies with the tendency to beat oneself up and just quit trying, giving up.

There is also the temptation to become self-focused with an imposter syndrome and a not good enough attitude. It takes courage and the resolve to never give up, persevering through failure and uncertainty. I have known many starting their entrepreneurial journey with gusto. Then I never hear of their work again after about a year. Don’t let that be you.

Thomas Edison (1847-1931) is known for inventing the light bulb in 1879, but he failed over 1,000 times before finally succeeding. Instead of giving up, he famously said, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." He also went on to be a pioneer in the motion picture industry developing the phonograph and early projection instruments.

Four: Seek Wise Perspective

One of the three main principles I share in my Stop Circling book is the value of Perspective. Perspective can help one to gain objectivity, change a mindset and to picture change. When I think of perspective, I relate it to flying. On most flights, I like to view the terrain far below the clouds as well as view how streets and cities are laid out, especially if I have a window seat. Some neighborhood grids are similar to the squares on graph paper while others curve in what seems like a random pattern.

Stop Circling Book-Front Cover-Deborah Johnson

Behind all the different layouts is a plan and perspective engineered and drawn to obtain the desired result. This perspective is extremely valuable for the end product, both on the ground and viewed from the air. As this relates to our lives, most people will benefit from obtaining wise perspective relating to the specific situation that comes from an outside source. Obtaining wise perspective is applicable, no matter what level.

I realize there are some instances that are out of our control. For those circumstances, when a door closes, look for an open window. If the window’s closed, look for a crack in the wall. There are countless coaches and mastermind groups but choose carefully. Make an informed and prudent decision on who and what to trust for gaining additional perspective.

Five: Adapt a Growth Mindset

Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) is an example of a talented and gifted artist that incorporated a fixed mindset. (Read about mindsets in Dweck’s book called Mindset) Van Gogh is now regarded as one of the greatest painters of all time, but during his lifetime, he struggled to make ends meet and sold only one painting. He eventually became so discouraged that he stopped painting altogether and tragically died by suicide at the age of 37.

Van Gogh’s mental health challenges are attributed by some to a bipolar disorder, though he was never diagnosed. If that was truly the case, it is unfortunate that the world lost such a talent too soon. Mental health challenges aside, a growth mindset is the belief that you can develop your skills and abilities through hard work and dedication.

Challenges become opportunities for growth. A limiting or fixed mindset lies with those who state, “This is just the way I am,” along with the attitude that there is not much that can be done to change. That attitude within a marriage is extremely destructive and isolating with one partner usually enabling and compensating for the other.

Life is a Marathon

I like to compare our life’s journey at times to a marathon. (see article below) At the start of the 26.2 miles, we may feel anxious or overwhelmed by what’s ahead. We may feel fatigued doubt our ability to finish the race, and this may often occur in life at mid-career or the halftime of life.

 I have never actually run a marathon but know many experience the wall around mile twenty. Glycogen, which are sugars and carbohydrates are depleted, and there’s a drop in energy. Many may feel like quitting at this point. In the final stretch the finish line is so close yet feels so far away. Just like a marathon runner, it’s important to push through and overcome obstacles. Never give up.


20-Year Overnight Success: What is Success?

How to Develop Self Accountability that Can Change Your Life

Just Knowing is Not Enough – Just Do It!

Getting to the Marathon Finish Line: What it Takes to Finish

Challenges become opportunities for growth.

deborah johnson

Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Author

If you are interested in growing and learning, check out our online courses here: Online Learning

1,486 words

Deborah Johnson

About the author

DEBORAH JOHNSON, M.A., creator of Hero Mountain® and former president of Los Angeles National Speakers Association, is an international award-winning music artist, author, speaker and National Media Commentator. She also hosts the popular podcast "Women at Halftime." Deborah provides tools to create your ideal lifestyle and work at mid-career or during the halftime of life, getting unstuck. You can live your second half fulfilled, focused and free! Up for multiple GRAMMY Awards and spending over 20 years in the entertainment industry, she's an expert on how to constantly reinvent yourself in a gig-economy. She is also the recipient of the Women's Economic Forum Exceptional Women of Excellence Award. Deborah is the author of multiple books, over twenty albums and musicals and speaks and performs in both live and virtual events.

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