There have been a lot of times that I’ve wanted to give up on things. The stress got too great, the burden seemed too heavy, and the payoff was in question of being worth it.

It took me five years to get my Biology degree. The last two classes I had were Physics 1 & 2, and I was finishing them in a summer semester. I remember that I had five weeks left of Physics 2 and I was way over it. Not because it was difficult, I was just burnt out on school. I could have been in comic book reading class, and would have felt the same.

I was honestly thinking about tossing five years of work away over five weeks. Glad I have good friends like Lina who told me in her motherly tone, that that would not be an option for me. And deep down, I knew that the pain was only superficial. I knew I would finish it. Her boost helped, and I did finish the degree.

The payoff was indeed worth it, having had the opportunities to teach and work in leadership positions from institutions like CCAC to USC. The knowledge of having finished so great a task as that will be with me forever. It serves as a great example of not giving up when that is exactly the only thing you truly want to do. I’m reminded of the incredible obstacles that I had to conquer while scaling that mountain. Obstacles like breaking up with a girlfriend I thought I’d marry, being kicked out of a church band I started, and finding out my dad wasn’t my real dad… all in the same year.

If you can push through things like that and worse, you deserve success. And, you will have it.

Do not go down without a fight. “Rage against the dying of the light.” If you’ve put in everything you’ve got and doors remain closed, then and only then will you know that you can move on to something else. But if you didn’t fight, if you didn’t give everything that was within you to give, you have no right to walk away.

I love when the speaker, Eric Thomas (ET), said, “You’re already in pain… You’re already hurt… Get a reward from it!”

It’s true! You’re already in pain, messed-up, jacked-up, and bruised-up. You might as well keep going. Wipe off the blood and the sweat, let the tears flow and continue on. Crawl on if you have to.

The moment you’ve given up on yourself, your life is over.

A beautiful life is just fragments of a broken one held together by hope.

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