1. You only live once.
Think about your life. You arrived in this world a comparatively short time ago, and death will take you away more quickly than you realize. This is your life—your one chance. Are you going to waste it on low-living, short-sightedness, and ignorance? Or will you choose to see, to live, to suffer, and conquer yourself? This is your one life-- use every minute for its precious opportunity. Live as if every moment you were examining your choices in life after you passed on.
2. The only thing stopping you is your own desires and feelings.
When you are tempted to give up, everything that causes your desire to give up comes from your own mind. Your attachment to comfort, your attachment to “peace”, your want of bodily satisfaction, and your addiction to “authority” all push you in different directions. But knowing this, you must see that while you may be unable to take on an MMA fighter, to take on yourself is a worthy battle.
3. Once you submit and follow through, you will be thankful for doing so.
Life is filled with examples of cases where you’ve felt free and thankful for following your convictions. Remember that time you didn’t stop running even when your insides were boiling? Remember that time you pushed through writing that paper all night and earned an A? Remember that time you submitted your mind to the truth even when it hurt? And have you ever regretted following through with your convictions? Once you’ve done right, you enable yourself to see how trivial a comfort you gave up in comparison with the joy that comes afterwards.
4. Nothing good comes from giving up.
Take your situation and imagine what would happen if you gave up. And now imagine what would happen if you didn’t. If you give in, you get temporary comfort. But that comfort grows sour, and your choices build up a wealth of dissatisfied desires. Your life is not rich and glorious—but it is comfortable. But when you follow convictions, you go through a brief period of discomfort and suffering, only to be rewarded by the fruits of submission. So, trade a permanent and positive change in your life for a brief period of comfort, or trade a brief period of comfort for a permanent and positive change in your life. Your decision.
5. You have an obligation to continue.
Even if it doesn’t seem appealing to follow your convictions based on pragmatic reasons, there still remains the fact that you have an obligation to do so. Truth calls to our minds to surrender our passions and desires in order to better understand and submit our hearts to what is real rather than the fakeness that our own souls create. So it is your choice—honor the eternal truth or glory in your temporary and vain comfort.
6. If other people can do it, you can too.
Thousands of other humans have walked the narrow path. This doesn’t mean everyone does, or that it is easy. But knowing that if you choose to continue, you do so in the footsteps of heroes, you can proceed with courage that you place your faith in a time-tested way of life. Many other humans have, in the face of total defeat and despair, or in the face of great loss, chosen to go on. Follow their lead.
7. You can change the attitude which causes you to want to give up.
Given that the mindset which causes us to be weak-willed and ignorant is produced by our own mind’s desires and attachments, it is certain that you have the ability to curb these by reflection, consultation, reading, fasting, practice, prayer, and counseling. To let your initial impression of unwillingness control you is to fail to realize that you can change the way you see things. Don’t ignore the easily accessible option of changing your disposition, for your disposition controls all of your actions, thoughts, and feelings.
8. The good you wish to accomplish is worth more than the comfort you don’t want to sacrifice.
Consider the good that your principles convict you to maintain or accomplish by choosing in a certain way. Honoring truth in your soul? Talking to a hurting friend? Shaking a family member out of their ignorance? Finishing a paper late at night? Finishing the race despite pain? Consider the comfort that works against your understanding as it prompts you to make such a decision. A temporary feeling of pleasure? Spiritual complacency which doesn’t wish to be disturbed? The good you wish to preserve in giving up is never worth as much as the good your understanding prompts you to obtain.
9. Any reasons to give up cannot possibly be logical.
By definition, all “reasons” to give up are illogical and non-sense, because they consist of desires, which are not the kinds of things which submit to reason. But when we look closer, we see that our desires come from an incredible short-sightedness, for they only see the moment. Destroy desires to give up by focusing on the big picture, and reasonability will return.
10. The people who are the most virtuous, happiest, and most successful all claim that you should never give up.
Every person who is good, joyful, and successful will always tell you to never give up. They have lived through countless trials and temptations, and found that sticking to what is true and good is always the right and best option. With such a time-tested way of life, how could you possibly doubt its immediate practical value? Do you want to be good, or joyful, or successful? Then do what good, joyful, and successful people do.