When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.

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 do you do when you get frustrated, when you feel like you just can't go on? Do you tie a knot and hold on, or do you let go?

What do you do when you get frustrated, when you feel like you just can’t go on? Do you tie a knot and hold on, or do you let go? This quote has an opinion on what to do. What’s yours?

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

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13 Responses to When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.

  1. Kelly 24 October 2016 at 7:38 am #

    Thanks to see this blog. Think about 10 years ago, in an unpleasant working environment when kids were young then, could not accept a job that required more commitments. Then one morning I came across this motivational quote from a forum (cant remember the exact name), I printed the quote and pasted it in my cubicle, each days it reminded me to hang on and stay till the day I can level to the length of the rope and exit from there. And I did it. Today, afraid to say that I might need this to help me again as my role evolve to a division that are not of my core expertise. It is either I stay on and keep my mouth shut or exit when there is a good opportunity out there. This is why I am writing here as I search for this phrase in Goggle, it appears first in the listing. Many thanks for sharing!

    • philosiblog 28 December 2016 at 5:26 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your story.

      I’m glad you were able to find the quote you needed, and that it was of some use to you.

  2. Ray 12 February 2016 at 12:58 am #

    Look before you go over the edge. If the rope is to short why go down it in the first place. Draw up the rope you have move it and go down it only when you know you can safely let go.

    • philosiblog 15 February 2016 at 10:50 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by and for leaving your thoughts.

      You are presupposing that there was thinking that lead to them finding themselves in that predicament. While sometimes life can blind-side us and catch us unprepared, the average person who is at the end of their rope didn’t do even the simple planning you did in your comment. Sad to say, but there it is.

      • Ray 17 February 2016 at 3:05 am #

        Can’t never did anything, You have only to try, try and try again. With every failure comes Understanding and increased skill. Can’t never did anything then withered and died.

  3. Renee 9 January 2016 at 1:17 am #

    Thank you. I heard this quote my first time today and found your blog for clarification of its meaning. Thank you

    • philosiblog 11 January 2016 at 2:16 am #

      Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to leave a comment.

      I am happy the post had some use for you, and that it you liked it. However, it is only one take of many possible takes for you to consider. While I am good, I am not perfect, and many of these quotes could be applied in different ways for different people under different circumstances.

      Please think of it is a starting point, not a destination.

  4. Mary 16 October 2015 at 12:42 am #

    What happens when you haven’t the strength to tie the knot?

    • philosiblog 23 October 2015 at 1:23 am #

      Thanks for stopping by, and for asking an interesting question.

      If you were being serious, the simple answer is you either grip more tightly, or you slide off. You can also use the experience as a reminder to save a little strength earlier in the next ordeal, so that you may tie the knot before you run out of strength.

      If you were being rhetorical, then I don’t have to answer that, do I? 8)

      • Pat 12 January 2016 at 10:31 am #

        I, too seriously, am wondering as Mary, about when you don’t have the strength to tie the knot? I was interested in your response as to “save a little strength earlier for the next ordeal” (?) I can appreciate the very esoteric nature of that comment but wanting to put legs to it, what exactly might that look like?? As I ‘hit the wall’ with coping skills and tenacity, I have an image of Leonardo de Caprio hanging onto that small plank of wood after the Titanic went down and holding on and holding on with strength ebbing away. thanks for your response

      • philosiblog 14 January 2016 at 3:57 am #

        Thanks for stopping by, for reading the comments and leaving one of your own.

        While tying the knot sooner isn’t always an option, in nearly every case I have been involved with, there were warning signs that things were going to get bad, and soon. That might be a good time to tie a knot in your rope, right? Sometimes, it just catches you off guard, and then you’re out of luck. But if you are paying attention and recognize how quickly your strength, coping ability or whatever is running out, you can predict when you’ll run out of strength to tie the knot, and do it prior to that point.

        I hope that helps it make sense.

  5. Kb 9 May 2015 at 9:02 pm #

    Enjoyed this thanks

    • philosiblog 20 May 2015 at 11:39 pm #

      You are most welcome. Thanks for the kind comment.

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