If not giving up was always the right answer life would be so easy. History shows us that sometimes quitters prosper and sometimes they miss out. Knowing when to quit and when to keep going is one of the most difficult questions and so we asked folks we admire to tell us how they think through this question.

Julia Clarke | Author | Yoga Teacher | Ayurvedic Practitioner

There’s nothing worse than overriding your instinct that something isn’t right and mistaking brute force for devotion. The line between effort and struggle is a fine one: how do we know when the universe is saying “stop” and when she’s saying, “there’s another way”? I find the image of a river to be helpful here; when you’re on the right path, there might be treacherous rapids and obstacles in your way, but you meet them all with a fluidity that can only come with a deep sense of purpose. In many ways, it’s not possible to give up because the ocean is calling you. The writer Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi studied this for his book Finding Flow and discovered that people are happiest when they are challenged with tasks that demand skill and dedication, and which are undertaken for their own sake and not out of a sense of obligation. When I can meet challenges with a meditative sense of purpose that fills me up, I know I’m on course. I always ask myself two questions: Is this depleting me or energizing me? At the end of my life, will I regret the time I put into this. Read more>>

Heather Falenski | Filmmaker & Business Owner

The answer to this question depends on why it is being asked. If I am doing something out of obligation, then I base my decision on whether what I’m currently doing aligns with my integrity and greater goals. If the opportunity cost is greater than the value of the current path, then it doesn’t make sense to keep going and therefore, the correct decision is to “give up.” If necessary, I process whatever emotions might be keeping me from voicing the right decision so that I can freely speak my truth. If the path I am on is worthwhile, but simply feels challenging and unlikely, then I make my decision based on one thing only. I quiet my mind and go into a neutral state akin to deep meditation. I ask myself the question silently and observe what happens in my body. I will immediately get some sort of response, whether a sense of expansion in my chest or a ping in my solar plexus. One could call it the voice of intuition communicated through the body. I have found that it’s always best to listen to the guidance I get and remember that outer circumstances do not matter. If I get a positive response, I press on and I have never once regretted it. Read more>>

Emily Chaney | Denver Realtor & Negotiating Expert

We are working in the toughest real estate market many of us have seen. The low inventory and high prices are frustrating for buyers, sellers and Realtors. I mentor young agents and they are finding stepping into the market and starting to build their careers difficult. You have to keep your eye on the prize though. Real estate offers you so much freedom both financially and in your schedule while truly helping people. Homes are essential and the reward is helping your friends and family create a safe space for their loved ones to flourish. As a Realtor you get to be part of your clients life changes babies, puppies, weddings and sometimes even divorce. All those things are part the life experience and to bear witness as a professional and help people through those transitions is pretty damn special. You have to always keep going or you miss out on those moments. Giving up isn’t an option. Read more>

Ralph J. Gilliard NY 2020 Muse Silver Award Transportation Conceptual Design Artist | I am The First Known Autistic, American, and African-American To Win The Silver NY Muse Award. Transportation Conceptual Design Artist.

I don’t believe in giving up its either do or die. I am autistic and the world is cold for autistics. I have always felt deep inside of myself I was here to do something bigger than myself. When I was a young man, I named myself RG Coldworld which is my alter-ego. when I feel compelled to do something, it is almost impossible to not do it. Read more>>

Kara Fellows | Illustrator

Always keep going. Every artist encounters blocks; the only thing to do is keep moving forward. I make some kind of drawing every day, no matter how small. I carry a sketchbook in every purse and backpack, even the smallest evening bag. The venerable old art instructor Andrew Loomis wrote, “Everyone has 10,000 bad drawings in them. The sooner you get rid of them, the better it will be for everyone”. I’d say I’m about halfway there. For inspiration, I browse libraries and bookstores. In Covid times, I’ve turned to Pinterest more often. To get the creative juices flowing I’ll make something in a medium that’s different for me. Collage, clay, paper or fabric for example. Or I’ll do the billing, clean the house, work on my website…whatever I’ll wish I’d gotten done when the phone is ringing again and all I want to do is make art. Most importantly, don’t let anyone stop you from doing what you love. Surround yourself with supportive people. The creative process can be hard enough; it’s nearly impossible to make art in an environment where you aren’t being encouraged. Read more>>

Veronica Allis | Life mentor & Entrepreneur

I believe that if you feel it in your heart it’s part of your path. So I go with what feels right. It’s all about the connection with certain things. So if you are not feeling that path anymore and nothing flows it is time to go. That’s my rule of thumbs. feels good= keep going. if not, then it’s time to change things up. Read more>>

Sophie Ulibarri | Graphic Designer + Brand Consultant

I say, keep going if it feeds you. If you find joy in something, pursue it. Don’t give up because of surrounding pressures or some man-made construct of what success is. Success, just as happiness, looks different for all people + all pursuits. A wise friend of mine once asked me to weigh decisions such as these by asking “shackles on? or shackles off?”. Meaning, do you feel burdened or chained to it? Or does it bring you freedom, joy, or inspiration? I’d also like to challenge the words “give up” as it implies you weren’t enough for the task or you couldn’t measure up. If you do feel you need to pivot away from something, I’d challenge you to reframe the vernacular from “give up” to “move on”. Moving on means you’ve made a conscious decision within yourself to say “this isn’t serving me” + releases you to do something else that does. Rather than assigning some unnecessary implication about self worth or limitation, this mindset is empowering + propelling. Read more>>

Seth Tanis | Clay Seed Bombs

I have been struggling with that because a start up business when working a full time job, it consumes a lot of time on the evenings and weekends. it’s easy to rationalize the job and a steady paycheck, having the weekends open. For me, the business is one of those ideas that is so engrained in my head, i know if i stopped, i’d regret it. I think when you find a project that you are so passionate about that not doing it will eat at you, you feel compelled to do it, you want to do it– if that ‘s the gut feeling, you can’t ignore it. Keep pushing forward. Read more>>