- East St. Louis School District 189
Rise Above the Urge to Quit
Spark from ARC
February 20, 2020
Rise Above the Urge to Quit
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison
The challenges of the first semester took a lot of effort to overcome and caused some of us to grow weary. It is imperative that we replenish the drive, energy, and enthusiasm we exhibited at the beginning of the school year. If you are truly committed to empowering excellence, you will resist the temptation to become lackadaisical during times of fatigue or adversity. You must have an ardent belief in excellence so you are not tempted to settle for mediocrity or quit when you experience failure. Champions know how to keep a positive attitude, maintain concentration, and continue to work diligently when they are fatigued, while others simply quit.
People that quit typically blame others and make excuses for their lack of success. They often transfer their failure to something outside of their perceived sphere of influence. They fail to realize that excuses do not change existing conditions; therefore, it is better to spend time thinking about strategies that can lead you to success rather than excuses. I have never heard a person say that they succeeded because of the excuses they made or the people they blamed for poor performance.
In the middle of the school year, it can be easy for students and adults alike to become apathetic. You may be disappointed with the lack of progress. Or you may just be going through the motions without the drive and energy you once had. Never settle for this type of apathetic attitude and behavior. Rise above mediocrity or it will pull you down into spiraling negative thoughts. It may even lead to the thought of quitting.
Reflect on your answers to the following questions:
- Have you done your best today?
- Are you expecting better results when you haven’t changed your approach?
- Are we demanding enough from ourselves and our students?
- What possibilities do you see as you look at your school/department?
- What potential do you see when you look at our students?
- In times of adversity, do you become pitiful or powerful?
Before entering a challenging situation, you need to take stock of who you are. Your attitude will dictate how you perceive the situation. How you perceive the situation will affect your vision, expectations and results. Communicate your high expectations to your students and the people on your team. Public accountability is a powerful force.
Remember, you can accomplish truly amazing things when you have a reason. What is your reason – your motivation – for excelling every day in your assignment? Use that reason to refocus your thoughts and approach to the challenges you face. What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.
It’s always too soon to quit and never too late to make a comeback. Be encouraged by this inspirational message, adapted from a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier:
Don’t You Quit
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It might be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.
I encourage you to watch this video about not quitting to further inspire you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYQ2IyMuPes&feature=youtu.be
Arthur R. Culver, Superintendent