Don’t Ever Give Up

by Lance Ekum on · 46 comments

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Is there something that you want very much, but have not achieved in getting?  I’ve been there, you’ve been there.  The things that are worth fighting for, the things that matter most to you – those are the things you shouldn’t give up on.

Watching the video above, the ball looks to be one that can’t be caught.  The player gives up on it.  However, the ball girl see this as an opportunity to make a spectacular catch.  At the risk of getting hurt or being embarrassed.  And she does it anyway.  Sure, she could have missed the ball.  Sure, she could have crashed into the wall.  If she never tries, though, she’ll never know.  She could have given up on the ball too.  Reason said that this was not a ball that could be caught.  Reason said that it should not be chased after.  And this would have been just another play in the game.  One that really didn’t mean much.  But reason doesn’t always win games.  Baseball games.  Or the game of our life.

When we aim high, sometimes that means taking risks.  And it’s in taking risks that we have the greatest opportunity to succeed and reach the next level, whatever that is.  Sometimes we’ll fail, especially if we’re aiming high.  That’s ok.  It’s in failing that we are presented with a real opportunity to learn and grow.  And if we really want that something, then we shouldn’t give up.  We should try again.  Success may be just around the next corner.

What’s holding you back from making that “great catch” in your life?  Dare wildly, act courageously, and live the life you desire!  Don’t ever give up on yourself!

UPDATE: I have just found out that the video above was staged.  Still, the idea behind it, that we shouldn’t give up, is one worth pursuing in all endeavors that hold special meaning to us.

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Tara September 23, 2008 at 6:27 am

Very inspiring Lance. I don’t want to be travelling 1½ hours every day to get to work when I could be spending that time with my children.
I love my job (which is why I do it day in day out) but I would dearly love to give it all up and devote that ‘travelling’ time to my family.

Taras last blog post..Are we raising a generation of wimps?


Wendi Kelly-Life's Little Inspirations September 23, 2008 at 7:33 am

Wow! I want to know the rest of the story! What happened to Ball GirL? This sounds like the next inspiring Made for Disney movie!


chris September 23, 2008 at 7:52 am

Unfortunately, we have the tendency to fear failure. Those who do not fear failure are the ones who take the risks, the ones who don’t give up, and the ones who finally succeed in life!

chriss last blog post..Opening Night


Writer Dad September 23, 2008 at 8:28 am

Nothing. Not yet anyway.

Writer Dads last blog post..Hi, My Name is Sean (Not Seen).


FitMom September 23, 2008 at 8:52 am

Thanks for the encouragement. 11 days till marathon day. Need lots.

FitMoms last blog post..Interview with Sage Rountree


Tom Volkar / Delightful Work September 23, 2008 at 9:04 am

Lance that’s an exceptional video and you tied it in nicely with your post. Until we attempt what some think is the impossible we never know what might have been.
Excellent work. You’re quite inspiring for an IT guy are you sure that’s your true niche?

Tom Volkar / Delightful Works last blog post..Authentic Business Discovery


Stacey / CreateaBalance September 23, 2008 at 9:11 am

I’m learning that some of the greatest lessons in life arrive when we least expect them and when we evaluate our failures. Failures are some of our best teachers.

Embracing failure has helped me plow past many levels of fear. Failures help me realize what I want next and provide me with insight that only comes with failure. The word failure sounds so dark and gloomy…but it’s not. It can be a rare gift, a stepping stone gem to success.

I am daring wildly in my life. And I’m happy to be able to visit Jungle of Life to get my daily push towards acting courageously. Thanks Lance.

Stacey / CreateaBalances last blog post..Do What You Love


Vered - MomGrind September 23, 2008 at 10:47 am

Seeing failure as a learning opportunity doesn’t come naturally to me. But of course, you are right. Taking risks and embracing failure is the only way to achieve our dreams.

Vered – MomGrinds last blog post..A Weekend In Napa: 3 Days, No Internet, No Problem


Bobbi September 23, 2008 at 11:11 am

Very inspirational LANCE! Man this speaks volumes to me right not. With everything that I am learning, it’s almost like the mission of my life. Taking risks is ok as long as you know that failing is a part of life and a part of growth:)

Bobbis last blog post..Thank God it’s Tuesday!


Mark Salinas September 23, 2008 at 11:46 am

I think the fear of failure can be a huge obstacle for many. But if we continue to resist the attempt to succeed because of fear we have already failed. Isn’t it true that most home run leaders also lead the strike out categories as well? Nice post Lance!

Mark Salinass last blog post..High Fructose Corn Syrup by Cathy


Simple Sapien September 23, 2008 at 12:19 pm


I absolutely love that video. My brother shared it with me about a week ago. It put such a huge smile on my face!

It is so easy to get caught up with fear, it is a shame really. I feel like everyone in this world would have so much potential if we all could just conquer that fear. Very inspiring post, keep up the great articles.

– Jack Rugile
Simple Sapien


Lance September 23, 2008 at 12:35 pm

@Tara – Don’t ever give up on getting to where you want to be Tara.

@Wendi – I would like to say she was catapulted onto great success in life. Instead, what I’ve found out is that this was a staged catch. Still impressive, but not the same. And I still think it displays the attitude of “don’t give up”, which is an important attitude for us to have.

@Chris – Fear of failure can be fueled by not having an attitude of “don’t give up”. But when we see failure as a step toward success, then we don’t want to give up!

@Writer Dad – You’re well on your way to where you want to be, and that’s awesome!

@FitMom – Eleven days until marathon – that’s exciting! You’ll do awesome, especially with an attitude of not giving up!

@Tom – It is an exceptional video, had it been an event that really occurred. It was staged, but it still, I think, shows the power of not giving up on something. And to that point, it is an exceptional example.

@Stacey/CreateaBalance – Continue to dare wildly Stacey! Continue to fail, get up, and do it again! With that attitude, you can’t go wrong!

@Vered – I think sometimes we all look at failure as just that, failure. And many times, it can be that failure is really an opportunity for us go grow and expand! And get us one step closer to success in our life.

@Bobbi – Thank you! It’s a great mission to have, taking risks and challenging yourself to reach new heights. And knowing that failure is just another opportunity to grow is icing on the cake (or new shoes on your feet).

@Mark – I think you’re right, home run hitters do usually also have a lot of strikeouts. Great example. They know they will fail quite a bit, but it’s worth the failed attempts to get to the big home run. To win the game for your team.

@Simple Sapien – That’s right, sometimes the shame we perceive we’ll feel from fear can cause us to give up on something we really desire. We play it safe. And, I wonder – is there more fear in playing it safe than of living your dreams and failing sometimes, but really living the life you want…


Annette September 23, 2008 at 2:17 pm

I used to fear everything. I lived in a shell. I feel that as I am growing older, I am getting bolder and not missing out on so much. There is confidence and wisdom that comes with age…….one of the benefits of getting older 😉

Annettes last blog post..My Weekend in Pictures


Stacey Shipman September 23, 2008 at 3:06 pm

So interesting to read this as I am crafting a similar post about being too quick to give up in life. It’s true. When I take risks or open myself up to opportunity, I’m vulnerable. I don’t know the outcome. But either way, I’m always a much stronger person, and at the end of the day I’m still “ok”. The most successful people are not afraid of taking risks and facing failure.


Avani-Mehta September 23, 2008 at 4:07 pm

Great video and a great message. The only way to remove fear is by facing it. And only way to conquer failure is to keep trying.

Avani-Mehtas last blog post..How To Pick Your First Anger Management Area – Anger Management Series Part IV


Cath Lawson September 23, 2008 at 4:49 pm

Hi Lance – that is so true. And even if we miss the ball sometimes, we don’t fail if we keep on trying.


Munchkins and Music September 23, 2008 at 5:39 pm

She rocks! Great post. Thanks for the encouragment!

Munchkins and Musics last blog post..Songs for Babies and Children


Barbara Swafford September 23, 2008 at 5:58 pm

Hi Lance – Isn’t that the truth? Too often we give up too easily and then wonder why things aren’t the way we would like them to be. I’d hate to live my life and later on be saying “woulda, coulda, shoulda”. I agree, aim high.


Lance September 23, 2008 at 8:01 pm

@Annette – Yes, I think age can bring confidence and wisdom – if we allow it. And you are! That’s awesome! You’re becoming the person you desire to be…

@Stacey Shipman – Interesting…I look forward to reading your take on it! You touch upon something that I think makes risk taking scary – the vulnerability we might experience. Sometimes we don’t see it as becoming stronger, or that stumbling blocks are ok in life. We focus on the vulnerability, and that can be enough to make the risk seem too great. But is it, really? Or, by not taking some risks, are we letting life pass us by. And in so doing, are we really able to live the life we desire.

@Avani – Yes! That is how we remove fear – we face it! And then, it just doesn’t seem so bad anymore. And we can move on beyond that…

@Cath – I love that – we don’t fail if we keep trying. To that I’d say – let’s think of it as a setback, not a failure. We get up, dust ourselves off, and try again. And again. Until we get it.

@Munchkins and Music – Your welcome!

@Barbara – Yes, if we give up too easily – maybe whatever it was we were trying to get was just around the next corner – had we only gone a few more steps. So, I’m with you Barbara – let’s all remove “woulda, coulda, shoulda from our vocabulary and replace them with can, will, must…


Irene | Light Beckons September 23, 2008 at 8:33 pm

OMG Lance, I got goose bumps watching that video! It was a girl … how awesome is that?! Now I’ve got a new role model, yay! Thanks for sharing this – very inspiring.

Irene | Light Beckonss last blog post..Dance Of Shiva


Sagan September 23, 2008 at 8:35 pm

The idea of it IS really wonderful. We can’t let anything hold us back!


Lance September 23, 2008 at 9:42 pm

@Irene – Having a daughter, I want her to know that anything is possible. This is an example of just that…

@Sagan – We can let things hold us back, or we can choose not to let them hold us back. It’s all in the choices we make…


Evelyn Lim September 23, 2008 at 9:42 pm

What an inspirational post! It’s so true…nothing ventured, nothing gained. If we intend to aim high, we need to take risks! The question that I ask myself sometimes: would I want to lead a less than extraordinary life? It would be nice to be a role model to my kids. The courage. The daring to dream!

Evelyn Lims last blog post..Mind Travel To Ancient Egypt


Bamboo Forest September 23, 2008 at 9:47 pm

I’m not surprised the video was staged. In fact, I’d be amazed if it wasn’t. For crying out loud, that person cleared about 5 feet. Not sure even an NBA player can do that. 😛

“Success may be just around the next corner.”

This is something not easy to grasp. Sometimes, we may be so close to the positive outcome we seek – and give up just right before, it was all going to come together!

Bamboo Forests last blog post..7 Ways to Settle a Dispute


Zandria September 23, 2008 at 10:10 pm

I think my problem is that I’m scared to START! Or, more likely, I don’t ever think that I’m doing “ENOUGH.” I’m fit, but in my eyes I’m not fit ENOUGH. I want to do more. But it’s hard to make that move to “step it up.”

But you’re right — I need to NOT give up. I’ll figure it out.

Zandrias last blog post..Bachelorette Party of Doom


Davina September 23, 2008 at 11:26 pm

Very true Lance. If you don’t try you’ll never know. Although I’m sometimes hesitant to take a risk, when I finally do I’m grateful. Failure is not taking the risk when there is an opportunity.

Davinas last blog post..I’m Over The Moon As NBOTW


GroundedFitness September 23, 2008 at 11:31 pm

I hate when I find a good youtube clip and its fake.

either way, this is a great message. most of the time when we fail, its because we’ve sabotaged ourselves in some way. Think of all things we could succeed at if we dont get in the way of ourselves.

Kelly Turner

GroundedFitnesss last blog post..A Little Too Soon


Ricardo Bueno September 24, 2008 at 1:27 am

Lance: I love that quote! I’ve fallen quite a few times, and I’ve gotten up. I never took the time to think about what motivated me to get up each of those times. But now, every time I tackle things, I know the things that motivate me; it makes it much easier to approach those challenges in life ya know?

Ricardo Buenos last blog post..Back from Blogworld Expo 2008!


Lance September 24, 2008 at 4:33 am

@Evelyn – I think you nailed it Evelyn with – would we want to live a less than extraordinary life. I think extraordinary takes some risk, some failure, and some courage. And if we accept this and really live the extraordinary, life can be so full and enriching. As long as we don’t get caught up in fear and doubt…

@Bamboo Forest – Even short of it being staged, the idea behind it – that we shouldn’t give up – is a great principle. We can be so close to the success we desire, if we just won’t give up…Easy to say, hard to do sometimes…

@Zandria – Well, that’s another great point. The word “enough”. We each have different definitions for what that word means to us personally. My fit “enough” may be different from your fit “enough”. And I think that’s ok, as long as we are happy with what “enough” is for us. That “enough” can sometimes seem unattainable is not necessarily all bad. As long as we can stay motivated to trying to get there. If we stop doing (give up) because it seems unattainable, then it may be worth re-evaluating how we define “enough”. I really think you have the right attitude – one of not giving up – and you’ll figure it our for “you”.

@Davina – I’m sometimes hesitant too. I think it’s fear of the unknown, and of being vulnerable. I like your last line very much – “ailure is not taking the risk when there is an opportunity.” Thanks for sharing that today.

@Grounded Fitness – I know, so do I! And, yes – we get in the way of ourselves, and we hold ourselves back. The opportunities are there, if we’ll just not be afraid, if we’ll just not give up on ourselves….

@Ricardo – I love that quote too. It reminds me that it is ok to fail. As long as I get back up, dust myself off, and try again. Especially if we look at it based upon what motivates us – so that everything is in alignment – then we’re in the right place, fighting the right battle for us…


Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome September 24, 2008 at 4:37 am

Funny how this message keeps coming up this week for me! I’m struggling with the concept of working super-hard right now to create a success in the future. I’m tempted to say many times: why should I bother working so hard now for something that might not even prove fruitful? I’ll have just wasted my time?

Then I tell the Impatient-Alex to shut up and I get back to work. The unknowability of success is the risk that I have to take and ignore the fear that comes along with it.

Alex Fayle | Someday Syndromes last blog post..Fearfully Moving Forward


Gloria September 24, 2008 at 8:36 am

Hi Lance. Just found your blog through Harmony’s Golden Zen blog.
I totally love your blog! Really good vibes here. I’ve added you to my blogroll at my new “Magical Mind” blog. 🙂 BTW, I’m Zen Coffee.

Glorias last blog post..Today is a Great Day!


Sherre September 24, 2008 at 9:14 am

That is a GREAT video and excellent illustration of your point.

Sherres last blog post..Monday Miscellany


Marelisa September 24, 2008 at 10:16 am

Uuuuuh, it’s too bad that was staged, because the video looks absolutely awesome. She looks like spiderman climbing up that wall. I agree with you that the lesson is the same though: run after the ball with the full intent to catch it and don’t let things such as “walls” or the very real possibility of failure slow you down.

Marelisas last blog post..Thoughts to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing


Audra Krell September 24, 2008 at 11:19 am

Nicely done Lance. I have three boys (all baseball players) and I have been focusing intently on “risk taking” with them. I praise it all the live long day with them. Being a risk taker makes you a little dangerous, a little wild, keeps the opponent on their toes, they don’t know what to expect from you. I don’t know a boy, man or even most women, that don’t long to be a little dangerous, a little unpredictable. Good things happen when people are willing to take risks.

Audra Krells last blog post..ATM Voting?


Lance September 24, 2008 at 1:24 pm

@Alex – That’s the thing, when we’re going along – and don’t know how far success is away, quitting can seem like a pretty good option. But, if we keep at it, really keep at it, success will find it’s way to us. So, keep at it Alex!

@Gloria – Thanks, and glad to have you here adding to the conversation.

@Sherre – Yes, I think the video does a nice job of illustrating the point of not giving up. Now, had it only not have been staged…but that’s ok, the point is still the same.

@Marelisa – Yes, what kind of walls are we constructing for ourselves, or what kind of walls are we afraid to climb. When just over the top might be our greatest successes.

@Audra – A little danger can be a good thing… Taking risks (in baseball, or in life) can lead to some moments that you may feel vulnerable, or scared. But, in the end, a good calculated risk can really reap great dividends. And if it doesn’t, we should shake it off, and try again. And we’ll get there…to a life well-lived…


Amanda Linehan September 24, 2008 at 3:02 pm

We can’t always rely on reason. Sometimes a leap of faith (or up a wall!) is what’s required!

Amanda Linehans last blog post..Use Self Reflection To Get Some Direction


Lance September 24, 2008 at 3:41 pm

@Amanda – A leap of faith, yes! Sometimes we just have to trust ourselves, and then do it!


Tammy Warren September 24, 2008 at 4:17 pm

I guess I am from a family of all risk takers. I am the only girl with 5 brothers. I had to be a risk taker to survive. Sometimes risk do leave me a little vulnerable when awaiting the outcome. I have noticed that I am less of a risk taker these days. Maybe it is because I am now sitting back and watching the children take the risk and I am exhausted by watching them.

This was a great post Lance.

Tammy Warrens last blog post..Was that a compliment? Think about it.


Gemma September 25, 2008 at 9:30 am

Fabulous!! Absolutely brilliant … the smile is well and truly back on my ace now :))))


Lance September 25, 2008 at 9:36 am

@Tammy – Five brothers, you probably were a survivor! Our daughter wishes she had another sister to even things out with her two brothers (it’s not happening!!). It is the vulnerability that can hold us back sometime, I think. I smile seeing what you wrote Tammy – it can be exhausting just watching our kids – I agree. I think we all go in streaks, and family time can be a time when we want more stability in our lives. And that’s ok.

@Gemma – Welcome! And I’m glad to hear the smile is back!


Jenny September 29, 2008 at 10:23 pm

I will admit, I am too afraid that I will fail at things and it holds me back terribly. I need to figure out how to get over that without failing! Of course it always seems to come back to failing!

Jennys last blog post..Don’t Laugh At…


Skip January 27, 2010 at 5:17 am

Wow thats great! This post has really inspired me! This mroning I was about ready to give up, now my perspective has been changed and I feel I could do aything!
.-= Skip´s Last Fabulous Post ..Highway to Hate =-.


Lance January 28, 2010 at 7:22 am

Thanks much for stopping by, it’s great to have you here. There is always hope…that I truly believe. Best to you, as you go forth…


scheng1 February 19, 2010 at 9:08 am

Sometimes I think we are worse than the animals. The cats and dogs dont give up, until they manage to steal the food. Yet most of us give up mentally, without even making an ounce of effort.
.-= scheng1´s Last Fabulous Post ..7 tips to self improvement =-.


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