The air is crisp at 7 a.m. on a fall morning. You feel the cool air traveling into your lungs, and you are ready. The starting point is ready. The bullet of the shotgun springs in the air. You and the other runners begin. “I can do this, I know I can do this.” As the race begins, you know you are ready. But at some point, the race feelings longer than you anticipated, and you slow down. Eventually, you wonder if you can finish. “Giving up would be so easy,” you think. “The pain would be gone.” Read here on how to refuse to follow this temptation of giving up in any situation.
1. Listen to your favorite song: Get lost in the music. Find inspiration in the combination of lyrics and melody to bring you to another place, even if it is for just three minutes. If the song reminds you of an event, a feeling, or a loved one, then thrive on that energy; willingly go to that place to clear your mind of where you are now.
2. Travel: Whether you travel to across the country or across the street, travel to a place that you have never explored before. Exploring a new environment may be uncomfortable at first, but also exciting. Find inspiration through both of these feelings.
3. Read a Quote Book: Authors, celebrities, teachers, and parents all have a perspective on the world. Along with that they have insights and thoughts that may be exactly what you need to hear.
4. Eat chocolate: There is nothing chocolate can’t solve. Grab a piece of a chocolate and allow yourself to splurge a little. Reward yourself for how far you’ve come, and prepare for what’s next.
5. Help People: Helping people is the universal cure to anyone who is defeated and hopeless. Seeing that your work has positively affected other people is a reminder that your work is worthwhile. Whether helping out at a soup kitchen or helping a friend, taking the extra step to help a neighbor is the key to finding inspiration.
6. Give/Get a Hug: After a long day, giving/getting a hug is sometimes all you need to move forward. When you get a hug, you know that someone is there, cheering you on from the sidelines. When you give a hug, you are wanted, you are there for someone you love. Never underestimate the power of a good hug.
7. Talk to your Mom: Somehow, moms always know the best things to say even when no one else can. She is your best friend, your rock, your “person.” Talking to her always rejuvenates you, and pushes you to keep going, both for yourself and for her.
8. Read the newspaper: Although it sounds antiquated, reading the newspaper with your favorite morning beverage as the sun comes up may be the most therapeutic moment of your day. From the news section to the lifestyle section, learning about your world gives perspective and reminds you that there is so much opportunity in this world.
9. Read a good Book: As F. Scott Fitzgerald said, the beauty of literature is “you discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” Reading literature reminds you that you are not alone; that countless other people have experienced this feeling of defeat.
10. Pet a dog/cat: In the midst of feeling this defeat, you see your dog playing with his stuffed animal, aimlessly traveling the room without a care in the world. Petting your dog (or cat) is a way to be removed from the situation, and remind yourself that this is not the end of the world. Your pet is a reminder that after all this is over, your world will still be intact.
11. Work even harder: Sometimes, feeling defeated is exactly what you need to kick back into gear. Enough is enough, and you are motivated to push forward with everything you have.
All of these tips change your surroundings so that you will feel inspired, and push you to finishing the road race, or completing that difficult biology class, or just continue moving forward in life. Although all of these hints involve changing your surroundings, ultimately it is something within yourself that will inspire you to push forward. You are the one that has to make the conscious decision to push beyond the pain and the struggle despite feeling defeated. You have all the power to move forward, or fall.