We all feel defeated sometimes.

In some area of life, you probably feel defeated right now. Even when everything’s going great, there’s usually some small corner of our world where we’re stymied.

When it seems like we’ve tried everything and nothing’s worked, we inevitably find ourselves bumping up against a decision:

Keep trying or give up?

Before deciding, here are a few questions to ask.

  1. How could I state this problem in a single sentence?
  2. Is this a minor problem or a major problem?
  3. Did I officially decide to give up on this problem, or have I just stopped trying to solve it?
  4. Is there truly nothing more I can do, or does it just feel that way right now?
  5. If I abandon trying to solve this, what are the long-term consequences?
  6. If I wanted to find a fresh approach to solving this problem, what could I do, what could I read, and whom could I ask?
  7. Is this a problem that I’ll be better equipped to solve in six months? Five years?

There are three ultimate outcomes here: Decide to let go of trying to solve this problem, decide to tackle it in the future, or decide to attack it afresh.

It’s okay (and sometimes necessary), to give up. But when we give up, let’s give up on purpose.