When to Give Up, When to Persevere?


At times, if we fail after several attempts, should we stop trying? It probably is a message from God. I have been trying my skill at something for several years in which I feel I have competence, but haven't succeeded. I believe in perseverance, but God's will is important too.

—Joseph, Australia


Dear Joseph,

Sooner or later, everyone encounters this question. Unfortunately, it is impossible to answer it in general because there are many possbilities, depending on the individual: Perhaps you need simply to keep trying, because you need to overcome a certain karma. Perhaps you need to try even harder or you need more skills in order to succeed. Perhaps it’s yet not the right time in your life for this particular success. Or as you say, perhaps this success is not part of the divine plan for you.

You will need to find the answer yourself, and for that meditation is an invaluable tool.

But one thing is certain: God wants you to succeed, if not in your current direction of effort, then in some other direction. To find that success-or even that direction-it’s vital to keep energy flowing. Only then will you generate the magnetism to draw to you what is your very own.

So choose the best direction you can think of for your energy-whether it’s your old direction or a new one-and put out energy to do the best you possibly can. Try to feel God flowing through your efforts, all the time with the desire that God guide you in His way. Let go of attachment to this or that success, and focus instead on becoming closer to God. That’s when God can-and will-help you the most.