I passed a man in an alley who was standing in front of a brick wall, slowly beating his head against it. His forehead was bloody, and it was clear he was in lots of pain.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
*thump* “I need to get through this wall,” he told me. *thump*
“Dude! You’re hurting yourself!” I said.
*thump* “I know.” *thump* “But I mustn’t-” *thump* “-give up.” *thump*
I’ve grown up with the mantra of “don’t give up” and it works really well for many situations. Sometimes I have needed to hold course and endure.
And sometimes I’ve found myself in a cul-de-sac, and I’ve worked and worked and worked, and haven’t moved. And in those times I needed to stop, and climb out.
This has been true for personal relationships and professional jobs. Enduring has been causing me more harm than walking away.
The question is: how do I recognise the difference between the thing I should endure and the thing I need to give up?
Sometimes, it’s not a matter of giving up entirely. Sometimes, I might just need to rethink my approach.
Recognise that I might be using my head the wrong way to get through a brick wall.