Ron White,  two-time USA Memory Champion, would like to share with you the value of not giving up on yourself, as part of discipline training taught through the “Mind of a U.S. Navy SEAL” workshops.

Have you ever worked at something for so long and at times feel like giving up because you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel? I believe everyone has, from time to time. What makes some get up and keep going, while others just throw in the towel?

I remember a song my mother used to sing when I was young, Pick Yourself Off, Dust Yourself Off, and Start All Over Again. It’s an old Frank Sinatra tune, and here are some of the lyrics, written by Dorothy Fields:

“You gotta work like a soul inspired until the battle of the day is won.
You may be sick and tired, but you’ll be a man, my son.
Will you remember the famous men who have to fall and then to rise again,
So take a deep breath, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.”

How often do you stumble and fall, and sometimes quit on yourself? As the old saying goes: “You have to get right back up on the horse.” This may be a cliché, but it is actually true. If you don’t face your fears, and get yourself back on track, you will be afraid to try again.

Everyone who has ever been successful has had to confront failure at some time or another. Take Thomas Edison for example. When asked why it took so many tries to invent the light bulb he replied, “I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.” Edison was saying that with each setback he didn’t give up, he kept on working at it until he found the solution. That is discipline!

Another great man who never gave up was Abraham Lincoln. He experienced many hardships and setbacks in his life, and a lesser man would have given up, but he persevered to become one of the greatest Presidents of the United States we ever known – a man of compassion and discipline. He is quoted as saying: “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”

Your failures are only permanent if you let them be. The only failure is your inability to get up, brush yourself off and start all over again.

My former Navy SEAL friend, T.C. Cummings recalled something from his SEAL days:  “The SEALs work with different martial arts sensei and masters to instruct us on different styles and techniques. These men are the most athletic and in-shape people you will ever meet. They always said the loved working with the SEALs because they would keep getting back up, even when hurt, dust themselves off and get back in the game.”

Think about this – how valuable will you be – to yourself, your family or your business, if you quit on yourself? There is no dishonor in falling; the true measure of a person is how they react after they have fallen. You will lose many battles over the course of your lifetime, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose the war. Keep your eyes on your goal, and don’t let failure or falls keep you from getting back up and working toward the goal again – perhaps with a different tactic.

As the SEALs say, when it comes to mind over matter – DO IT AGAIN!

You will find the lesson in getting yourself back up after failure is among many available on the training CDs “Mind of a Navy SEAL,” and in our training “Think Like A U.S. Navy SEAL” workshops.




“Mind of a U.S. Navy SEAL” workshop

The Life Journey Coach – Abraham Lincoln on Success and Failure:

Google Answers – Thomas Jefferson quote: