Grit - How to Keep Going When You Want to Give Up

How much do I want to read more? 7/10

A quick and easy read that borrow from other books. It's not deep, but it can be a good summary and reminder about those good principles.
It's so simple to read, it makes no excuses not to read it.


most successful people on Earth: They never give up on their big goals.

Chapter 1: Should You Even Keep Going?

Grit serves you no purpose if you’re performing the wrong action.
Seth Godin points out in his book “The Dip" that if you’re not going to put in the effort to do your best, you might as well quit.
Consequently, the most important question you should ask yourself before you even start learning how to keep going is, “Should I even keep going or should I give up?

Understanding the Dip

The dip creates scarcity, which in turn leads to exceptional value possessed by the few people who endure it.
The longer you endure the dip, the closer you are to success. Yet, most people who have found themselves in the dip give up before they can get out of it.

When Should You Give Up?

Let’s say you went to the college, but one year later you’re no longer motivated to keep going. people would consider the year spent studying too large of an investment to quit. Even though staying at the college would lead to even more waste, many people would irrationally keep going.

Consequently, the first question you should ask yourself is whether you want to keep going just because of what you’ve already invested. If it’s your primary (or worse, sole) motivation, chances are you’d be much better off quitting right now.
If you’re settling for mediocrity, the decision to quit will benefit you more than merely trying to be “okay” at something.

Richard Koch points out in his book “Living the 80/20 Way” that the key to success is to limit your focus to things that mirror your individuality.

If your vision no longer fires you up (and it’s not the result of your current struggles, but something entirely else), the decision to quit is likely to turn out more beneficial than sticking to it.

A Couple of Examples of When I Gave Up (and Made the Right Choice)

Many successful people I admire are capable of programming, so I figured it could be a useful skill to develop.
I realized technology has never been my forte. There was no chance I would go past mediocrity. it was a project destined for failure.
The realistic end goal (being an average programmer) wouldn’t satisfy me, so quitting was a better choice.

Every author will tell you that the hardest part of writing a book is the middle of the story.
I also quit on several of my stories, but I also had several books where I went past this phase.
The difference was the “why” of the book.


  1. The dip is the moment when you experience little reward and lack motivation to keep going
  2. The sunk cost fallacy can make you keep going when it’s better to give up
  3. It’s a waste of time to be mediocre while you could work on something you’re great at
  4. If you no longer have the passion for your goal, give up

Chapter 2: Routines – the Key to Persistence

Daily routines will free up a lot of willpower to use in other areas of your life.

What You Can Learn from the First People Who Reached the South Pole

strategic persistence and the power of proper rest.
When I’m writing a book, I have a simple routine – no matter what happens, I have to write 3,000 words per day. Even if I accomplish nothing else during the day, I consider it a productive day.

Make Your Life Easier by Establishing Daily Routines

The cue is the signal that triggers the action you’re about to perform. Reward is there to motivate you to repeat the same behavior over.
Ex: writing 3,000 words is the first thing I do, When I finish writing, I’m free to eat, read a book or spend time pursuing my other passions (reward).

Don’t Break the Chain

Jerry Seinfeld motivated himself to write new jokes every single day by putting a big red X. he didn’t want to break the long chain on his calendar.
Skipping one day makes it easier to skip the next.

Chapter 3: How to Develop Mental Toughness