Always Too Early to Quit

Norman Vincent Peale

 Ever get stuck on a project? Ever feel like whenever you take one step forward, you take two steps back? Ever feel like throwing in the towel and giving up on something you’ve been working on? I have. I think one of the things that holds me back is time…yes, and maybe lack of focus too. Like you, I have 168 hours per week to do things, and yet my hours seem to be frittered away by details, especially those involved with making a buck. I’m not complaining, just sayin’. 

Whenever I feel discouraged, I love reading success stories, especially those that come about after a few trials and tribulations. It’s a bit disheartening to read about instant success if you’ve been plodding and planning and trying your dead level best to succeed at something and have it come to naught. From what I can pick up, however, that’s not how it usually happens. 

Someone once said (maybe you can provide the source of this quote) that most overnight successes take about 20 years. While it might seem easy and quick to the outsider looking in, achieving major accomplishments takes time, effort, and maybe even a little help from above. Rome wasn’t built in a day, right? 

This morning I’m thinking of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, minister and prolific writer. The only book I’m familiar with is his famous The Power of Positive Thinking.  Published in 1952 and translated into at least 42 languages, this book was once rejected so many times that he gave up on it. The story I heard is that he threw the crumpled manuscript into the trashcan and forbade his wife to remove. Evidently, she had more confidence in his work than he did because she took the trashcan, manuscript within, to a publisher who saw the “power” of the book and took a chance on Peale’s seminal work. 20 million copies later, the book is still going strong. 

I often spout his quote, “Change your thoughts and you change your world,” in classes when cognitive psychology is being discussed. It’s a simple, yet powerful thought. This morning I came across an even shorter one that I’m going to keep in mind: “It is always too early to quit.” 

I KNOW that if my friends and I get frustrated with our project progress, then there are others who do the same. From now on, I’m going to remind myself of Peale’s advice. It worked for him.


Author: jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer

2 thoughts on “Always Too Early to Quit”

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