By: Krista Abdel Sater
Last Updated on: November 28, 2021
Image by: BEA
There is no doubt that achieving success requires so many qualities in a personality. Determination, motivation, initiative, passion, and willingness are only a few of those qualities. Growing up, we’re all encouraged to have or develop those qualities, whether it’s coming from our parents, teachers, family members, or even friends. However, while these traits are important, keeping them in moderation is important for mental health and overall wellbeing.
In elementary school, we’re taught to “never give up”. Our teachers encourage us to try again when we fail and our parents lecture us about how practice makes perfect. We watch Disney movies about princesses and heroes who encounter challenges throughout their journey but keep going and end up achieving their goal eventually. However, can having determination be toxic and harmful to our mental health? Sometimes. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying that one should accept the fact that they failed and just move on with their lives and give up on themselves; however, I think it’s important to understand when to “give up”. The quotation marks signify that “giving up” is not the right term in such cases, in my opinion, but rather “accepting reality” is the more appropriate term. Sometimes we have a goal in mind that we want to achieve. It might be a job position, a university acceptance, or even a residency approval from a foreign country. After 3 years of trying to achieve that goal, one might not have the need or the passion to achieve that goal anymore. A lot can happen in 3 years, including a shift in one’s path. I believe that so many people find other things that they want to achieve even more than their original goal while they’re on their path to achieve that original goal. And there’s nothing wrong with that. On the contrary, it’s growth. Therefore, if I were in such a position, I wouldn’t keep trying to achieve my original goal, because my passion for it has faded. Instead, I would choose to follow the dream I stumbled upon. If I were to “never give up” and keep on trying to achieve my original goal, I would be miserable because it’s no longer what I truly want to achieve. It’s no longer fueling my energy and nourishing my soul.
This is why I don’t believe that stopping the pursuit of achieving your original goal is “giving up”, because it is simply a shift in passion. As young leaders, we’re constantly changing and evolving. What might interest you today, might no longer interest you in 6 months. With that being said, it is important to know what you want from life, and follow that want because in the end, that’s what’s going to bring you happiness and the feeling of fulfillment. There is no greater feeling than the feeling of accomplishment, why not go after it?