Keep Knocking?

Good advice is hard to find these days. This is especially true when one is seeking advice in all the wrong places, and today, there are plenty of wrong places. Take this blog, for example. I may only think I have the expertise to support my opinion.

Even if I know what I am talking about, knowledgeable people can be wrong. Just look at the so-called experts whose opinions, advice, and claims changed almost every news cycle during the 2020 Pandemic. Be that as it may, hang in for a minute and see what you think.

The bit of advice on the right sounds so well-meaning it must be valuable. That is why you can find that message in any number of places on the internet. In this case, it popped up on Facebook. The poster is someone I know fairly well, and I know they meant the post to be helpful. Sadly, it, like the verse in a popular country song, “In a race that you can’t win, slow it down,” is well-intentioned claptrap.

Yes, there are times when one should quit knocking on a particular door. Yes, there are times when the race is lost and conserving one’s energy is appropriate. That does not mean someone should live their life with these pieces of so-called wisdom as their mantra.

Unlike another, older, country lyric, “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,” these are not sage advice—knowing when to hold’em is a tactic, as is folding. It is the difference between winning and losing a hand of poker, not giving up on a dream or mission.

Yes, some will pursue a dream until they lose everything or everything meaningful in their lives. Yes, there is a point when you may need to decide enough is enough. The question is knowing when you reach that point.

Do you recognize these names, Einstein, Lincoln, Edison, Disney, Spielberg, Rowling? These and dozens of other famous people faced doors that would not open, races they could not win, and other challenges in their lives. Yet, they persevered. Today, their names are in the history books as winners, innovators, and examples of never giving up.

Trying hard and being persistent will not always bring success. It will, in many cases, bring you the satisfaction of knowing you did your best. Whatever the outcome of your efforts, one thing will always be true. The only period at the end of a sentence that is final is one we may know is coming, but we will not see. Until that point, it is too early to give up.

© – 2020

About S. Eric Jackson

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6 Responses to Keep Knocking?

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  4. jamfayle says:

    I enjoyed ‘Keep Knocking’, S.E. It makes a great and thoughtful point. I hope lots of people read it.

    Someone else suggested in her own comment to you that you might have simplified this article.
    Because I think I have the same tendency to ramble or over-analyze while writing, I want to share with you a tactic I am adopting to correct my own problem. See if this helps you too:
    Every time I think I’ve finished the article, I am putting it aside to read it afresh the next day. Without fail, my second-day read is showing me stuff I can trim and say more simply. And so it goes.

    Best wishes!

    • Thanks for the feedback. I normally follow your model of revisiting a piece before publishing it. I’m not certain I did that here for a couple of reasons, but your point is well made. Thanks again.

  5. Hillary Volk says:

    Very true. History is filled with people who refused to give up on something that looked hopeless after a few tries. It reminds me of a story within the book, ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill entitled, ‘Three feet from gold.’ It’s a classic, and available all over the internet. I don’t know if there’s a movie about it, but many young people probably wouldn’t bother to read it because there isn’t a car chase in it.

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