Whatever You Do, Don’t Quit

I stumbled onto this poem as I was browsing through my Evernote database. The source is unknown, though many claim to have written it. Regardless, I found in inspiring and thought you would too.

Whatever You Do, Don’t Quit

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/jordanchez

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

If you enjoyed this poem, you might also enjoy my post, “What Keeps You Going When You Want to Quit?

Question: Was there a time when you wanted to quit but didn’t? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Suzie

    This post is timely for me. I recently began a podcast after several years of simply dreaming of getting it done. Today, I recorded my second episode. It took me multiple attempts before I finally told myself that I would not give up, but I would keep trying until I got it right- not perfect, but acceptable. My next recording was good enough to use. I know that my skills will improve as time goes on. Giving up is not an option.
    Thanks for the reinforcement through this post, Michael.
    Suzie Farthing
    One Love for Nurses

  • Stellampp

    That poem Don’t Quit was written by Edgar A Guest. 
    Edgar Guest
    On August 20, 1881, Edgar Guest was born in Birmingham, England, to Edwin and Julia Wayne Guest. The family settled in Detroit, Michigan, in 1891. When Edwin lost his job in 1893, eleven-year-old Edgar between working odd jobs after school. In 1895 he was hired as a copy boy for the Detroit Free Press, where he would work for almost sixty-five years. His father died when the poet was seventeen, and Guest was forced to drop out of high school and work full time at the newspaper. He worked his way up from a copy boy to a job in the news department. His first poem appeared on December 11, 1898. His weekly column, “Chaff,” first appeared in 1904; his topical verses eventually became the daily “Breakfast Table Chat,” which was syndicated to over three-hundred newspapers throughout the United States.
    Guest married Nellie Crossman in 1906. The couple had three children. His brother Harry printed his first two books, Home Rhymes andJust Glad Things, in small editions. His verse quickly found an audience and the Chicago firm of Reilly and Britton began to publish his books at a rate of nearly one per year. His collections include Just Folks (1917), Over Here (1918),When Day Is Done (1921), The Passing Throng(1923), Harbor Lights of Home (1928), andToday and Tomorrow (1942).
    From 1931 to 1942, Guest broadcast a weekly program on NBC radio. In 1951, “A Guest in Your Home” appeared on NBC TV. He published more than twenty volumes of poetry and was thought to have written over 11,000 poems. Guest has been called “the poet of the people.” http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/731

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      This is debatable. (See all the comments above.) It doesn’t appear in any of his collections. (If you have a reference, please do share it.)

  • Murthykangovi

    I was always rating myself in competence and confidence 
    prompted me to seek second position and a safe haven,
    not until a a great soul knowing my feelings pulled my spirits
    and to do what best you can do and keep going.

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  • Sfreeman017

    Thanks for sharing the poem.  Yes I definitely experienced quitting in many forms last year, but somehow just holding on to God’s grace despite contrary circumstances got me through.  Now a year later, my life is much different for the better.  

  • Dr John Read

    Thanks for sharing your sentiments through this poem.
    I am reminded of another in a similar vein. English humour in this case from the Life Of Brian…
    words and music by Eric IdleSome things in life are badThey can really make you madOther things just make you swear and curse.When you’re chewing on life’s gristleDon’t grumble, give a whistleAnd this’ll help things turn out for the best…And…always look on the bright side of life… Always look on the light side of life…If life seems jolly rottenThere’s something you’ve forgottenAnd that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing.When you’re feeling in the dumpsDon’t be silly chumpsJust purse your lips and whistle – that’s the thing.And…always look on the bright side of life… Always look on the light side of life…For life is quite absurdAnd death’s the final wordYou must always face the curtain with a bow.Forget about your sin – give the audience a grinEnjoy it – it’s your last chance anyhow.So always look on the bright side of death Just before you draw your terminal breathLife’s a piece of shitWhen you look at itLife’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true.You’ll see it’s all a showKeep ‘em laughing as you goJust remember that the last laugh is on you.And always look on the bright side of life…Always look on the right side of life… (Come on guys, cheer up!)Always look on the bright side of life…Always look on the bright side of life…(Worse things happen at sea, you know.)Always look on the bright side of life…(I mean – what have you got to lose?)(You know, you come from nothing – you’re going back to nothing.What have you lost? Nothing!)Always look on the right side of life…I hope this brings a smile for you and your readers too.Best wishes for a fulfilling 2013,SincerelyDr John Read

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  • dougburrier

    Yesterday. I wanted to quit yesterday. I have found for me that the following equation often applies: overwhelmed = beginning of desire to quit. I am a dreamer with a thousand new ideas that I cannot accomplish on my own (thanks to my coach for pointing that out!). Refocusing my time and mind back to what I am great at and reviewing successes helps. But the death blow quitting comes when I focus on my passions. My comment yesterday to a dear friend as we talked about “the one thing” I would say if given 30 seconds says it all — “If I’m not careful, I’m going to get excited and forget that I have been depressed for two days straight!” 

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  • Chris

    I am going through a start-up where quitting seems the thing to do so I have this post open as a tab in my browser as a reminder. Sometimes I go to it on purpose, sometimes inadvertently but it always brings me back to staying the course.

  • Murthykangovi

    When Iam  fully equipped with ability, confidence
    persuasive consistency, fully committed with 
    discipline and with due belief in my perceptions.
    and clarity of purpose and care taken to manage
    all possible imaginable impediments.

    Suddenly I find surprisingly a set back..I do not
    get nervous and QUIT  but  fight back with    
    renewed zeal accept the challenge and stoop to 
    conquer till I succeed…………………..regards.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/alvin.gloversr.1 Alvin Glover Sr.

    I almost gave up but God step in and blocked it and He gave me what I needed to hang on in there! He gave me the patient to hold on just a tad bit longer. Thank you Lord for Hebrews 11:1 in Jesus Name!

  • Tonya Corbin

    My memory has fuzzed me. I used to write a lot of poems. I truly feel like I wrote this in school. I submitted it to some poem site online. Though many people claim it. Guess we will find out some day. Ha life is funny.