Goals: Never Give Up vs. Letting Go

Posted May 21, 2012 by Marcy Twete in On the Ladder
In the last few days, I’ve watched a video and read an article with absolutely directly opposing thoughts, both of which I found myself agreeing with.

  • The first, a video that’s gone viral in the fitness and yoga community, a portrayal of the story of disabled veteran Arthur Boorman. The message? Never. Give. Up.


So what’s the answer? Do you persevere at all costs, no matter the circumstance, even when you fall down, to achieve your goals? Or do you recognize when a goal isn’t working for you and let go of it strategically and with great thought? When thinking about these questions, I went back to a post I wrote last year on “Childhood Ambitions.” In it, I confessed my biggest dream as a child – to be the first female commissioner of baseball. For me, reading about that goal introduces the difference between active goals and passive goals.

Clearly, Arthur had an active goal – to become healthy, to run, to overcome his diagnosed disabilities. He had to be active consistently and daily to ensure that he met his goals. Some goals, though, like my dream of becoming the commissioner of baseball, are passive goals. They’re goals that might always remain in your mind, but may not need daily activities in order to keep them fresh.

So, for me, there isn’t a choice between “never give up” and “let go all together,” but rather a decision about whether a goal is active or passive in your life. To reach all of your goals, you’ll need these varying stages of strategy to meet them. You can’t be “never give up” in every area of your life, and you can’t be passive in every goal either. What you need, as always, is a balanced approach toward setting and achieving your goals.

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."