My cliff notes from “Being unable to despair“:
There are two ways to respond to things getting hard: digging deep, and giving up. Giving up can look like finding excuses, or failing dramatically. If your approach is giving up, here’s how to dig deep, instead.
First, realize that you probably aren’t someone who gives up all of the time; when facing hard problems, sometimes you do buckle down. So, you are capable of applying that response at least some of the time. Perhaps you can apply it more often.
Second, realize that doing nothing — curling up into a ball — is not a non-action; it is one choice of actions. When you do nothing, thus giving up, you are making an active choice for how to respond to a difficult challenge. (Note that the point isn’t that curling up is always bad — sometimes it may be good for you.)
Third, realize that to feel helpless sometimes is human — we all feel it at times. Feeling helpless doesn’t mean you are helpless; you can push on despite this.
[I]nternal drive often requires tapping into a deep desire to make the world be different, in a world that’s very large and very hurting and very hard to change.
[Putting it all together, working backwards: Recognize that the odds are stacked against you, just like they are everyone; difficult odds don’t let you off the hook of buckling down. You can choose to buckle down, just like others do. In fact, you already do buckle down, some of the time. Knowing all of this, be empowered to choose determined internal resolve even more often, even in the face of (and even because of) bleak odds.
This post is part of the thread: Replacing Guilt Cliffs Notes – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.