Like all truly great wisdom, it applies equally whether things are going badly or going well.
I can’t take credit for coining the term, but I can certainly say I have turned it into my very own personal mantra. The term “Keep Going”, in one form or another dates all the way back to the bible.
2 Chronicles 15:7 says this: “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”
Galatians 6:9 says this: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
In fact “Keep Going” is referenced 23 times in the Bible. And it has been repeated all throughout history, by some really amazing people!
Harriet Tubman, the American abolitionist and activist, said: “Don’t ever stop. Keep going.” Tubman was speaking to escaped slaves she was helping get to the North via the Underground Railroad. “If you want a taste of freedom, keep going,” she said. Tubman had escaped from slavery herself: She knew.
Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, coined the famous phrase “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
“Keep going” is one of those rare pieces of wisdom (like “This too shall pass”) that applies equally whether things are going badly or going well.
When things are going badly, keep going.
What I mean by “keep going” sometimes means keeping up the effort you’re already making: Many situations call for persistence and faith. Remember, with faith all things are possible. And sometimes the hardest thing to accept is that everything good happens in God’s timing, not ours. It can be frustrating to sit and wait on God, to continue to put forth an effort, to consistently work toward a goal that seems that we may never achieve. But ask yourself this, if you quit now, how will you ever know the outcome? Your entire life can change in less than an hour. I’ve seen it happen. But it won’t change at all if you quit. So keep going, keep trying new things, keep striving for excellence. God will see your efforts and reward you. He has to, it’s in the Bible!
When you don’t know what to do, keep going.
Sometimes you don’t know what to do — and “keep going” still applies. Sometimes to keep going is all that really matters. Sometimes it’s all you can do: just to do something.
Just put one foot in front of the other, until the scenery changes
If you’re feeling demoralized and demotivated, it can be the best advice in the world. Just doing something, anything, will keep your situation and your attitude from developing into a permanent state of defeat.
It can be really hard. I know. I understand. I’ve been there, done that. A few times. But what I’ve learned is that if you don’t change something inside of yourself, then nothing outside of yourself going to change either.
Even if you had no other pieces of wisdom at your disposal, this one, “keep going,” will get you there. You’ll figure out the how, eventually.
When you’re at a dead end — keep going.
If you think you’ve reached a dead end, it’s also the best advice you can get. I can’t count the number of times I thought I’d blown it. I’ve been “stuck” in my life many times. At 19, I failed out of my first attempt at college. At 26, when I saw no way out of a bad relationship, I ran away from New York to Texas, in an attempt to start over. A few years later, when I had no money at all, was living from couch to couch, and the only work I could find was temporary jobs that didn’t pay the bills.
Fast forward to 2016 when I was 42 years old, my dad had just passed away, I’d just been laid off from a job I’d thought would be my career, and a friend had just committed suicide. I got stuck. Stuck in depression, in a hopelessness I would never wish on anyone. I prayed to a God I wasn’t sure I believed in to just let me die in my sleep.
Every night. For a year.
But He kept waking me up. And the only answer to my prayers that I ever received, were the two words that, I am convinced, saved my life. “Keep Going”. I never heard them audibly, it was just something I felt down deep inside. It took a lot of work, and a lot of patience from my friends and family, but eventually, I did just that. I kept going. Even when I didn’t want to. Even when I didn’t know how. Even when all I could see were dead ends.
Within a few months of failing out of college, I returned. And graduated with a Bachelor’s degree. After running away to Texas, I met new people that have since become my family. I bought a house and now, twenty years later, call Texas my home. And although 2016 nearly took me out, I eventually went back to work, got promoted to manager, and living comfortably, no longer having to juggle bills every month.
When I moved on from each situation, I could not have known what was going to happen next. All I knew was that what I had was not good enough. The only way I got to my next goal, was to simply keep going. Had I quit working toward my goal, had I just given up like I wanted to, I would not be here today. I give all the glory to God, for not taking my advice, for not listening to my own self-pity party, and for waking me up every single day. And for instilling those two words into my heart. “Keep Going.”
One thing will always lead to another, but only if you keep going.
When things are going well, keep going.
I don’t mean to not take time to rest and enjoy your accomplishments. By all means, every accomplishment deserves a celebration. So take a look around and enjoy where you are at in life. Give thanks to God for getting you here. But why stop here? What would happen if you kept going? Kept striving to be better? Or maybe pay it forward and help someone else to keep going?
If you continue to move forward, you’ll never be disappointed. Never underestimate what’ is possible.