Questions to Ask Before Giving Up

Some days you just feel really awful. Whatever project you’re working on, whatever job is paying the bills, whatever stresses life has on you…It feels like a constant uphill battle and you just feel like giving up. Thankfully the internet is full of wonderful and inspiring ways to stay motivated. Whenever I start to feel this way, I like to refer to this list of “questions to ask before giving up”. This was originally published on a now famous tumblr that has been reblogged over 150,000 times. So I guess I’m not the only one who finds it motivational. Hope you will too!

Are you hydrated? If not, have a glass of water.

Have you eaten in the past three hours? If not, get some food — something with protein, not just simple carbs. Perhaps some nuts or hummus?

Have you showered in the past day? If not, take a shower right now.

If daytime: are you dressed? If not, put on clean clothes that aren’t pajamas. Give yourself permission to wear something special, whether it’s a funny t-shirt or a pretty dress.

If nighttime: are you sleepy and fatigued but resisting going to sleep? Put on pajamas, make yourself cozy in bed with a teddy bear and the sound of falling rain, and close your eyes for fifteen minutes — no electronic screens allowed. If you’re still awake after that, you can get up again; no pressure.

Have you stretched your legs in the past day? If not, do so right now. If you don’t have the spoons for a run or trip to the gym, just walk around the block, then keep walking as long as you please. If the weather’s crap, drive to a big box store (e.g. Target) and go on a brisk walk through the aisles you normally skip.

Have you said something nice to someone in the past day? Do so, whether online or in person. Make it genuine; wait until you see something really wonderful about someone, and tell them about it.

Have you moved your body to music in the past day? If not, do so — jog for the length of an EDM song at your favorite BPM, or just dance around the room for the length of an upbeat song.

Have you cuddled a living being in the past two days? If not, do so. Don’t be afraid to ask for hugs from friends or friends’ pets. Most of them will enjoy the cuddles too; you’re not imposing on them.

Do you feel ineffective? Pause right now and get something small completed, whether it’s responding to an e-mail, loading up the dishwasher, or packing your gym bag for your next trip. Good job!

Do you feel unattractive? Take a goddamn selfie. Your friends will remind you how great you look, and you’ll fight society’s restrictions on what beauty can look like.

Do you feel paralyzed by indecision? Give yourself ten minutes to sit back and figure out a game plan for the day. If a particular decision or problem is still being a roadblock, simply set it aside for now, and pick something else that seems doable. Right now, the important part is to break through that stasis, even if it means doing something trivial.

Have you seen a therapist in the past few days? If not, hang on until your next therapy visit and talk through things then.

Have you been over-exerting yourself lately — physically, emotionally, socially, or intellectually? That can take a toll that lingers for days. Give yourself a break in that area, whether it’s physical rest, taking time alone, or relaxing with some silly entertainment.

Have you changed any of your medications in the past couple of weeks, including skipped doses or a change in generic prescription brand? That may be screwing with your head. Give things a few days, then talk to your doctor if it doesn’t settle down.

Have you waited a week? Sometimes our perception of life is skewed, and we can’t even tell that we’re not thinking clearly, and there’s no obvious external cause. It happens. Keep yourself going for a full week, whatever it takes, and see if you still feel the same way then.

You’ve made it this far, and you will make it through. You are stronger than you think.



Are You Gritty?

Do you have perseverance? If someone tells you “You can’t do that,” how do you respond? Do you get puffed up enough to make them eat their words? Or do you go back to bed and lay down for a week? How do you deal with adversity when it comes to pursuing your goals? Are you Gritty?

Life is hard for everyone. We all own our various aches and pains, yet entrepreneurship takes an extra bit of pluck that many of us often need to grow into, unless we were born with a natural go-getter spirit. There will be times when one wants to throw in the towel, bash the notebook computer with a sledgehammer, disconnect the phone and go live in a cave. That’s when it’s time to rejuice, recharge, and refuel and start over again the next day. How do you keep your enthusiasm going when it seems you’ve set an impossible goal? I hope my story will give you some inspiration.

I started my third venture, Piknik, about a year and a half ago, when I was homeless. I was living in my friends’ living room with two small children, with my older son coming for the weekends. We literally had about 3 square meters of personal space to ourselves, plus a loft bed.  I had just managed to force a poser investor out into the light. If you’re an entrepreneur, you probably know what that is – it’s the guy who strings you along for months asking for more and more work, but he never actually writes the contract or the check.  I had to scrap what I was doing and start over again. Then I became paralyzed with fear. Then I decided to do it anyway.

I launched Piknik as a very simple app for checking into and posting food photos in restaurant profiles. Right now we are only on Android, as Piknik AD. As I persevered, I picked up some team members along the way.  Now we’re on our way to making Piknik 2.0, which is set to change the online review world.

One of my sources of inspiration, my 7-year old

One of my sources of inspiration, my 7-year old

There were many times during my 7-month long stint as a homeless person when I could have decided to lay down and die and give in. However, my kids deserve better, so I kept going.

Whatever it is you are doing, you need to find that one reason to keep hustling, and keep it close to you in thought and deed, and work away at it. The stories of determined actors and business people are published weekly in our media, because everyone needs inspiration. The best sources I’ve found are Inc. online magazine, Matthew Hussey’s YouTube vlogs on business and relationships, and Evan Carmichael’s YouTube Channel, and there are many, many more.

Want to know more about Grit? You can watch Angela Duckworth’s Ted Talk here. To assess yourself on the Grit Scale, you can download Angela Duckworth’s evaluation here.

What or who inspires you and keeps you going when everything else sucks, literally? What makes you gritty? Please comment below and tell us about it!