One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.

Napoleon Hill
Think and Grow Rich: The Original 1937 Unedited Edition (Wise, VA: Napoleon Hill Foundation, 2012), 21

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18 thoughts on “Temporary Defeat

  1. One of the things I have realized recently is that I should have been developing a thicker skin before I started trying to gain an online presence.

    I hadn’t anticipated the type of negativity that I’ve occasionally received, and as a perfectionist the 1 in a 100 negative comment could be debilitating if I let it.

  2. Something I hear and share often in Celebrate Recovery is…

    “Don’t quit five minutes before the miracle happens!”

  3. I always liked Seneca’s quote, “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.” It seems to be relevant enough to add to the comments. :)

  4. To Quote Vice Principal Merny from “The Pacifier”… “Quitters…… quit.”

    It’s easy to do… sadly. Our fragile insecurities are easily shattered. But I’m learning that if I can take the time and energy used to focus on the defear and redirect it into accomplishing something useful instead, the defeat can be a part of a new victory.

    Call it learning lessons the hard way – but it works. The time we have can be spent on fleshly, self-pitying pursuits, or on Spirit-led, others-centered ones. We have the choice.

  5. I wonder if this habit is becoming/will become even more prevalent in our society given the cultural drift toward inflating self-esteem, creating level playing fields, and never letting our children fail.

  6. Sometimes there is wisdom in knowing when to quit. Obviously there are situations that merit continuing to persevere, but I have been in a business situation where this attitude continued to drive me further and further into debt. You must know when to continue onward but also have the wisdom to know when to stop. The decision to stop is sometimes much harder than to continue to go on.

    • I agree. Failure isn’t necessarily a message to stop or to push ahead. It’s a warning to take stock and make sure you’re headed in the right direction.

  7. In my post on Wednesday, I’ll talk about the power of habit and how controlled we are by our lazy brains. Habits often short circuit our thinking processes and redirect us away from our potential. We have enough non-thinkers in the world. Let’s not add to the stockpile!

  8. Hello Michael, Thank you for sharing your enthusiasm with us at the Innov48 Conference in Franklin. Just this morning I was “Promoting my Older Posts.”
    Also just started listening to your podcasts.
    Thank you for your inspiration!

  9. I just started reading this book and every page is chock-full of wisdom and truth. The story about the man quitting “three feet from gold” was heartbreaking. Mindset is everything!

  10. Well…I think we can rest for a while without quitting. Maybe we can change our focus, or go for a run, or let the problem marinate for a while. In this way, the “defeat” stays temporary, and we stay the course!

  11. This is often true of many of us simply because we interpret that temporary defeat as failure……quitting before we’ve actually failed. It’s one of the enemy’s best tricks.

  12. I love to say this: I plant a seed today and then tomorrow, I go
    out and say “Plant, where are you?! Why aren’t you here yet?!” – Seed
    yells up from the ground “Hey, you must be a little new at this, give me
    some time to grow!” Plant the seed (your idea, dream, aspiration,
    vision, goal) and then feed your seed, give it sunshine, water it, tend
    to it with love and in time, it will grow! Adapted in my own 100% unique
    version from Tony Robbins! – Chelle Bowman

  13. This is a profound quote – it’s especially easy for me to fall into that trap at the first sign of defeat. I’ve got to order Hill’s book for my Kindle. Thanks for the inspiration Michael!

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