The Only Time To Keep Going When You See No Results

“So be sure when you step, step with care and great tact.
And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act.
And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains”.
Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
 
 

Some days, I have to back up, sit down, take ten quick, sharp breathes and ask myself: “Am I just lazy or this just isn’t for me?”
And then I remember I need to calm down to take the right decision.
And I go:

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(And get me something sweet to give me the sugar rush I need 🙂 )

 

But don’t you just hate those moments?

Nothing is more work than work that bears no fruits.
It’s insanely nerve-racking, and the longer it remains this way, the closer we are to breaking.
And maybe a nervous breakdown.
It all looks like a waste of time, resources and energy.
And a couple of times, it unfortunately is.

However, somewhere between throwing in the towel and persevering on, is taking a moment to ask ourselves: “Is there really something here for me, is this worth holding on to?”
Too many people keep fighting battles that have been lost right from the beginning, and more give up just as victory’s around the corner. And so it’s important to take time out to ask and answer that necessary question, once and for all.

And how do you decide if your answer should be positive or not?

One Condition I totally believe in :
The Only Time You Should Keep Working At Something Producing No Results Is When You Know It Should Be Producing Results.

Let’s face it: Our guts and personal perceptions of ourselves are hardly ever wrong.
A good number of times, we know some things are meant to be, and others, well, we can’t be so confident.
Say I’m given a project to write twenty poems under a week, I won’t get paranoid.
If I have to learn an instrument under a month… well, I’ve owned a Harmonica since I was ten.
All I got is the first line of “Here Comes The Bride”.
You picture how that’ll turn out.

However, when I say “…When You Know You Should Be Producing Results”, I’m not referring to your self-confidence, or your belief that you do deserve it.
I’m not even talking about how hard you’ve been working at it alone.

And apart from our gut feelings, there are four key traits that if possessed, I have come to see are sure to guarantee results, sooner or later, and you only need to hold on a teeny-weeny (or a lot!) more.

And what are these factors that should help you know?

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I’m talking Potential.
I’m talking Knowledge.
I’m talking Passion.
I’m talking Skills.
You should be seeing them.
Anyone around you should be seeing them.
Crystal clear.
You should ooze and reek of them.
You should live and breathe and eat and sleep them.

I really do not know of anything that kicks these four off their spot. Nothing stands in the way of an embodiment endowed with them and a couple more extras. Nothing.

Why should you fancy these factors as much as I do? Let’s pick at them individually.

With Potential, comes an edge. It represents that likelihood.
That chance, that possibility.
It’s that power — resources, that most likely have been left untapped or lie underdeveloped.

So examine that situation for yourself, do you just know it that this is still attainable for you?
Are there resources that you believe only need to be unlocked so they can get to work?
Talents and abilities just looking to be groomed?

Is there a chance that doing less of this and more of that can lead to even a trickle of reward?
Potential is usually only looking to be polished, watered, tenderized.
Think of it as a seed.
Just because you got a seed buried in a hole doesn’t automatically mean you have an apple tree.
It is definitely awesome, and of course, the crucial starting point, but you’re going to need more than that.
Much more.

And then there’s knowledge.
If there’s something I learnt from studying Information And Communication Technology in High School, it’s that there are different stages in analyzing a data.
Same applies with Information and Knowledge.
Being knowledgeable is on another platform of its own.
Don’t mix them up.

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Information is something given, something told. Most times, involving a middle man, a third party in between. Most times, unverified.

That wouldn’t do.

Knowledge is a step further, a sense of true awareness, of understanding.
It’s approaching things with clearer perceptive. It’s the ability to be more concise. Because you’ve known.
It’s going past the step of “X, Y, Z”.
It’s going a step further to “Before X and Y, U and V has to be out of the way and X and Y are products of them because there is an order to be followed”.
To hit gold, you have to dig deeper.
You have to know.

And now, this thing called passion.
Have you seen a person burning with a passion?
No, really, have you?
I swear their entire being just lights up when they’re on that passion of theirs.
I’d include a quote from the writer of my favourite book that I never stop talking about: Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert.
She had always known writing was going to be it, according to stories of her I’ve read, regardless of about seven years of rejection she faced.

I recently stumbled on a YouTube video where she gave a talk, passion related, and at a point she went (talking to her passion — writing);
“I will never ask you to support me financially. I will support both of us. I will do whatever I have to do to pay the rent and you and I will have a love affair on the side of this that is not contingent upon monetization”.
P.s- I will forever love this woman.
(And if you have never read her bestselling book, I can absolutely guarantee your addiction to it if you ever take it upon yourself to read it.)
Elizabeth went ahead to also discourage the mentality we like to carry around that your passion has to pay the bills for you.

Right from the start.

It will darling, I am positive it will, but in its on time.
So take your eyes off of that.

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I like to think of passion as the all-time most important thing.
Because it doesn’t really matter what you’re into or working on, everyday won’t be a smooth ride.
Some days would look impossible. Along the line once in a while, things would get tough.
If you have zero passion or very little interest in whatsoever you’re doing, you most likely won’t be patient enough to stick around for the big reward.

I see a lot of people go into something because of monetary rewards alone, or other benefits they’ve been promised would turn up.
If you don’t carry out that thing with enthusiasm and zeal and passion, the chances of seeing those benefits are slim.
With passion, you won’t need to constantly, consistently, religiously, relentlessly, keep checking for when they start rolling in, because you’re in it for something more than that.

So if you have no love for what you do, stop doing it. Please.
If you do, believe me when I say you’re simply unstoppable.
Hang in there. Get lost in that love. It’s almost here.

And last on my list, Skills.
Too many times we forget, it’s not about working hard, it’s working smart.
And you know why most people forget this?
Because when you really take your time to place these two side by side, and then compare and contrast, working smart requires more work than working hard.
It’s more work just once though, that’s the good part.
A Give-it-your-very-best-shot-and-go-to-sleep sort of situation.
And it’s why those who succeed really succeed.
People are lazy. Simple.
People don’t want to think. It’s less work to simply conform and do what everyone else does.
We all know how to work hard: Put in all your time and effort and hours and keep doing more and keep pushing.
But for a person who’s skilled, dexterity and craftiness is the way to go.
You don’t go through the path everyone is going through — can’t you see it’s already crowded?

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Instead, examine alternatives.
Find your own path.
Fish it out.
Skills are usually acquired, but require a dash of reasoning abilities and a whole lot of creativity.
You need to want to reason and think.

So, tell me:
Thinking of quitting something giving very minute or no rewards after a reasonable period of working at it?
Yes?
Tell me, with these pointers in your hands now, what do you think, do you just know you should be seeing something, no matter how little it trickles in?
This is no trick question.
I want you to ask yourself, and I want you to give an answer.
There’s no Maybe. There’s a Yes and there’s a No.
You won’t need to sleep on the matter.
You don’t need hours deciding.
It should only take some seconds of your time.
 

And if you’ve got a different point of view, how do you know when to quit and when not to?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, or anything really, through the comments section.
Pretty please?
And if this made any sense to you, please do me the favour of sharing with anyone you think needs to see this too.

Do more this week — I’m counting on you!

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Deliciously Yours To Savour,
Ima | LemonsLemonade.com.

More Juice?

  • Very insightful post, hun. Thanks for sharing. I love how you said it simply: “The Only Time You Should Keep Working At Something Producing No Results Is When You Know It Should Be Producing Results.” That will stay with me forever.

    http://www.KatrinaJeanCarter.wordpress.com

    • Aww, thank you Katrina 🙂
      I hope it helps you when you need it to!

    • I agree with Katrina! Its so true and theres a time (season) for everything.

      • Yup, there is!
        Thank you for stopping by, Oyinkan!

  • This is so good! Love it!!

  • Julie Maloney

    This is how I look at fitness and my role in staying fit. Sometimes I don’t feel good about myself and I push too hard but I don’t need to. I look good and I work hard. I have a lot of potential and drive to stay fit and look my best at nearly forty.

    • Over 40? You definitely don’t look that old.
      Just go easy on yourself even while keeping fit and love up on you — no need to burn yourself out unnecessarily.
      Thank you for reading!

  • Such an inspiring post! thanks so much for sharing!

    • You’re very welcome, glad you think so 🙂

  • Olaitan

    The points are really apt and yes, insightful. I’ve not read Eat. Pray. Love. Maybe I would someday.
    Quick Life Update : The Abusive Relationship I Am In
    http://Www.laitanbee.com

    • You should,Olaitan — it’s amazing! 🙂

  • Love it! Just what I needed to hear today 🙂

    • I hope it helps plenty, thanks for reading!

  • I have been engulfed in these situations in the past and this will surely help recover….

    • I hope it does.
      Thank you for stopping by!

  • Have you ever seen the photo of the one guy who quits just mere inches before digging through to the diamonds? I think of that every time I want to give up at something I’ve been working hard to do. Great points!

    • Wow, that’s crazy!
      Very good reminder — I’d be keeping it in mind myself 🙂

  • What a great article!

  • Yes I’m glad I learned this at an early age with friends. Some friendships just aren’t worth fighting for and very few are. There are just some battles I don’t want to face because its too petty and sometimes walking away is the best thing you can do for yourself.

    • Yeah, that’s true.
      One thing I trust in now is that what’s yours is yours, and what isn’t isn’t, and nothing could ever change that!

  • OMG I so needed this today!!!

    • I’m glad you came across it, thank you for reading 🙂

  • I completely agree with you that passion is the most important thing. When I have a passion for something I really put my all into it and you can tell!

    • That’s awesome, and that’s exactly how it should be — all or nothing!

  • This is such an great post! This is very inspirational an you have very good point there.

  • Jessica

    Great post! I wish perseverance was something that I could hand out like a handshake – everyone would get one.

    • Lol
      And that’ll be so sweet of you 🙂

  • I love this!

    And I love being unique. I always tell my kids to not just fit in. Be who they are. Always.

    • That’s the way to go — normal’s too common and normal’s too boring.

  • Tochy

    I think its pointless starting what you know you can’t finish… So sometimes when I want to quit I quickly ask myself ‘tochy why did you start’? And I also remember that anything worth doing is worth doing well… The article is great and awesome hope to see more inspiring articles cause I’ve learnt a lot just by taking a peep at this…Nice one IMa

    • Yeah, it’s good you remember to give yourself that reminder, dear.
      Super important and helpful too.
      Thank you so much for stopping by! ☺

  • I love the GIFs you’ve used throughout the post. 🙂 The sentiment behind the post is spot on, though! I don’t believe in giving up when your instincts are telling you otherwise; always trust your gut!
    xoxo, erin | sandsunandmessybuns.com

    • Yeah, neither do I.
      It could be tough but when you just know you’re on the right part, you’d have a lot of regrets later on if you stop pushing.

  • This was a very intriguing post, I enjoyed reading this one. I agree with your saying.

  • R U S S

    The message of this post is inspiring. While there are days that we probably feel like giving up for whatever aspect it is in our lives, for as long we have not gotten the result that we wanted, we always need to continue to soldier on. Each time I want to quit, I always look at the bigger picture and the result that I want to achieve. If what I did seemed to be not right, then there is always a brilliant Plan B or an awesome Plan C.

    • Exactly, all the way to Z!
      Hehe
      There are so many approaches one can take to literally anything, sometimes we just get too lazy to look for them.

  • Agree. I like your point, So if you have no love for what you do, stop doing it. Please. Get lost in that love!

    • Yup, it’s the best way to work and not feel like you’re working!

  • Now this is one amazing post! So inspiring and such a good lesson to remember when you’re passionate but aren’t seeing the results yet and that little voice tells you to quit and just give up!
    Keep up these fantastic posts!

    Ellie
    http://Www.Maplesyrupandteacups.blogspot.com

    • Awww,thank you Ellie
      And thanks for reading, I hope it helps

  • You hit the nail on the head. I wasn’t sure where you were going with this when I read the title, but I kept nodding my head as I read. So. Perfect. I agree completely. Pinned!

    • Yay, I was hoping to confuse a bit at the beginning, but since pass my message
      Hehe
      Thank you so much!

  • I fight for results. If my actions aren’t producing anything viable, then I’m not doing the right thing. Simple as that!

    • And that’s a great way to look at it — sometimes it could be as little as trying something new.

  • I think the “passion” thing hit home for me. Just like anything in life, teaching is an art that you’re just BOUND to struggle with in your first couple years. There are constant ups and downs and emotions tied to it. But if you’re passionate enough about it, you’ll stick around.

    • Yup, passion helps you bear and endure so much,just because.
      That’s something I have had a lot of perzonal experience with too.

  • This is such a powerful and insightful post. Follow through is just as important as setting goals, but not nearly as fun or exciting. Thanks for the reminder!

    • You’re very welcome, Cait Weingartner
      Glad you saw some sense in it ☺

  • This is great. I feel like I really needed this reminder as I continue to debate about trying to pursue medical school.

    • And I hope this reminder helps you in making the right choice!

  • Nifesimi

    Nice piece Ima

    • Thank you Nife, great hearing from you

  • I have always wanted to read Eat. Pray. Love. Maybe I will order it on Amazon today. I’m planning to spend some time over the holidays to get some reading done.

    Shatreka
    ChicStylez360.com

  • I feel this way when it comes to exercising. I give up too easily. Errr

    • Lol, been there too actually.
      Just keep pushing Houx!

  • Hi Ima,

    Elizabeth Gilbert’s resilience despite all the rejection is so inspiring.
    That’s the power of burning with passion.
    I want to be like her when I grow up
    So much motivation oozing at me from this blog.
    Thanks dearie!

    Precious’ Blog

    • Aww,thank you so much Ma,it’s so good to hear from you!
      And Elizabeth Gilbert sure inspires me everytime too ☺

  • I needed this this morning! As you mentioned, it’s very difficult on so many different levels when you work and don’t see any immediate results but perseverance and patience and, yes, passion help us get through it! Thanks for sharing – very inspiring post. 🙂

    • Yup, perseverance and passion is the way to go!
      Thank you for reading!

  • Its a balancing act. Knowing when to persist and knowing when to concede.

    • Exactly, it really is one!
      Thanks for chipping that in, Laura ☺

  • Wow. Love this – top to bottom. Absolutely inspirational! Loved your points on examining alternatives – can’t agree more!

    • Thanks Vaishnavi
      I’m glad you loved it!

  • Shane

    Wow such thorough compilation of thoughts! I agree with it all, especially if I struggle to decide if it’s worth it to go full time with my blog.

    • I can only imagine how tough that one must look for you, good luck making the best choice Shane!

  • Interesting read. You’ve definitely given a people something to think about and self reflect.

  • I agree with you about the fruitless work. I am trying very hard to cut down on monotonous work that does not pay off in the end. It is a constant source of frustration.

    • Oh yes, and it just drains you in every other way too!

  • CourtneyLynne

    Omg so agree with everything you are saying! I swear a lot of people give up too easily! Keep pushing!!!

    • Exactly, you’ve got to want it that bad to get it!

  • As the song says, you have to know when to hold them, know when to fold them…. 🙂

    • Hehe
      Never heard of this song but it sure is right!

  • Erin Sellers Mauldin

    Great article! I needed to read some inspirational words today and something that would get me kick started, thank you:)

    • Glad I could be of help, and you are so very welcome!

  • SUCH a good message. Dory said it best when she said “just keep swimming, just keep swimming!”

    xx, Tomi
    http://goodtomicha.com

    • Lol, once again, I agree!
      Perfectly said

  • Wow, this is so thought-provoking. It can be really hard to decide when to keep going and when to just give up.

    • Yeah, it’s just about understanding that our guts are hardly ever wrong and we just need to honestly face the truth.

  • I can totally relate to you. This happens to me all the time.

    • And no one is alone in this
      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Elizabeth O.

    When you feel stuck, like there won’t be any improvement in your life, that’s the time to quit. At least that’s what it’s like for me. Feeling stuck means you no longer love what you’re doing and it no longer makes you happy.

    • Yeah, sometimes it’s really that clear when our heart isn’t into that specific something anymore!

  • This made me feel great reading this. I don’t want to give up so I continue to surge ahead even if the results I wanted haven’t appeared. Thanks for the motivation!

  • What an eye opener. I don’t like the idea of working just to earn money, that’s never fulfilling and it’s never something that I dreamed of doing just to live life. Passion and love for your craft are important and that’s makes the work worthwhile.

    • Exactly, life is too short to waste it on something you don’t really fancy.

  • I must admit recently I struggled with choosing ever I should throw in the towel or hold on a little longer. I am still on the fritz but this post has me rethinking my stance

    • So good to hear this helped to an extent, and I hope you make the right decision.

  • Blair Villanueva

    Your post reminds me of Dory, “Just Keep Swimming!”

    • Hehe
      I know right?
      Thank you for reading!

  • Such a beautiful post and quiet inspiring as well. I always feel that, when you have passion in heart, you are definitely going to try your best in achieving it, no matter what!

    • Yup, it’s so easy to keep pushing if it’s from your heart.

  • Very personal post. I love to read posts where the writer is honest and vulnerable

  • The more I read your works the more I love the beautiful lady behind the veil.
    You are a great gift to us all!

    • Awww ☺
      The great Rockdweller
      Thanks dear!

  • insightful post. True, there’s a time for everything. sometimes we just need to wait to see results..some results may come to late.

    • That’s true
      Its why I never set time frames for my goals unless it automatically comes with one.

  • Ana

    Nice post! Before quitting, I always try to give my best shot so that I don’t have any regrets later!

    • I do the exact same too.

      Giving your best is important every time!

  • Choosing not to choose would be choice too.Our decision to continue with something needs conviction and everything else you described. Very inspiring post

    • It does, thank you for seeing my point!

  • I’m loving your words of encouragement. I think a lot of people are willing to give up when they don’t see immediate results. I really liked the line: “Knowledge is a step further, a sense of true awareness, of understanding.” This is right on point.

    • Aww, thank you so much Fatima.
      So good to know you agree with that ☺
      Knowledge is a step further alright, and it’s not something they teach you anywhere.

  • Excellent advice. There were several things I was holding onto and when I let them go God brought better things into my life.

    • Exactly!
      Hold onto something too tight or longer than you should and you’d most likely miss alot.

  • Nicely said dearest…………. Nice Post!!!