When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on. – Franklin D. Roosevelt (also Thomas Jefferson & others)
What does that mean?
This quote is about not giving up. If all seems lost, and you are at the end of your rope, the quote says to hold on, and help yourself by adding a knot at the end.
FDR (as he was known) had a lot of rough times in his life. He contracted Polio as an adult, and guided the USA through the Great Depression and World War II. And those are just a few of them. He knew the end of the rope quite well.
But he also knew how to tie a knot and hold on. The refusal to give up is simply a decision. And once you make the decision, it is simply a matter of executing. Tie your knot and hold on. Keep at it, and never give up. However, the quote never says how one should tie a rope while desperately hanging from the end of it.
Why is tenacity important?
Many things in life take effort. Often we get to the end of our rope, and just let go. Sometimes it is the proper thing to do, as each thing we do has a finite value, and at some point, it just isn’t worth it anymore. However, I have found myself as well as many others letting go far sooner than that.
If everything was easy, nothing would have much value. Typically, the harder you have to work for something, the more value you are likely to place on it. This is often why the first time you do something, you remember it with greater intensity, as it was much more difficult.
Sometimes it is easy to keep after something, to be tenacious and to not let go. Other times, it can be easy to become frustrated and let go, instead of holding on for a little bit longer. It just takes a little more determination, and the will to hold on.
Tenacity is a skill and a habit. You get better with practice, and you will get better when you decide that you will not settle for less than achieving your goal. You can start small and work your way up, or you can break big things into small things, and take them one at a time. Just don’t let go.
Where can I apply this in my life?
I would apply this quote to any part of my life where I tend to get frustrated. At least in my experience, the time I am most likely to want to quit, to let go of my rope, is when I am very frustrated. What about you, when have you tended to just let go, instead of hanging on?
And that is the sticky part of this quote. You have to examine yourself, and get to know yourself better for this quote to be of much use. In order to do that, you will need to think about when you tend to let go. Start with a general overview of the situations when it is most likely to occur.
Now grab some paper and jot down the last few times when you let go, and regretted not holding on tighter. Try to get just a few details down for now, enough to remind you of the situation if you were to read it again. With that accomplished, write down a few times when you were tenacious and were glad that you stuck with it.
With that list, the question is do you see any patterns? Is there something which you might be able to adjust which would help you hang on more often, or to help you remember the times you are glad you did? Often times there are common things which can be fixed once, but pay back in many areas.
Increasing your tenacity can be one of those fix once, pay back many times kind of deals. If you can figure out how to fix your tenacity, right? That is why trying to find ways, thoughts, feelings, methods, or anything else which you can use to help encourage you to hold on, or discourage letting go.
What have you come up with, based on your list? Did this exercise remind you or bring to mind any other events or ideas? Pick a couple of things to work on, and write them down on the paper. Next to each, brainstorm up a few things you could do for each one, so that you have a PlanB if the first isn’t as effective as you hope.
Now all you have to do is find some part of your life where you are thinking about letting go, and try out some of these ideas. If you can’t find a place in your life to try this out, congratulations! However, keep these ideas handy, because your time will come again. That’s how life works.
Many things in life are frustrating. Sometimes, giving up seems the easiest and quickest way out. While that may be true, there are times when hanging on will get you to where you want to be. Don’t give up prematurely. Be tenacious and hold on for all you’re worth. And you’re worth a lot!
From: Twitter, @DavidRoads
confirmed at : http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/when-you-reach-end-your-rope-tie-knot-it-and-hang-quotation
Photo by Celestine Chua