If At First…..

if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again

be strong of heart

Contrary to what is often taught in American schools, this mantra has nothing to do with the USA.  The real legend is that it’s all about Robert the Bruce and a spider, before the Battle of Bannockburn in June 1314.  The moral is that dogged persitence, bloody minded perseverance, or as Churchill said; ‘Keep Buggering On,’ may just snatch a notable victory from the jaws of defeat.

If you can’t snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, fight even into it’s belly.  ~  Bangambiki Habyarimana.

Giving up when things get difficult is why some people complain that life has handed them a raw deal, why many relationships fail, and some people become alcoholics and addicts.  I walked out on a brilliant career when things became too stressful, got divorced when marriage was too complicated, and drank like booze was going out of fashion because real life was just too painful.  And you know what?  If you give up then your life will get worse, all you are doing is jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.

Giving up trying, giving in, accepting defeat comes in many forms.  If you have serious problems and you just give up, for example by staying in a truly terrible relationship because that’s easier than doing something positive, then if you think your life sucks now it will soon become more awful than you thought possible.  Trust someone who has been there; no matter what rock bottom you have it there is another even worse to come ~ if you give up.

There is a huge difference between not trying again, and trying something different.  There are two mantras to remember here; never reinforce failure, or if you like don’t throw good money after bad…..  And, as Einstein is supposed to have said; ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result…..’  There is no point in trying something again and again if every time you try you are severely punished.

For example an abused wife may keep on going back to her husband for one more try at a happy marriage, but each time she does she is abused again.  Or even worse, at the Battle of the Somme in July 1916, English generals kept sending their men ‘over the top,’ trying again and again to break the German lines.  Each time they tried, they suffered horrific casualties.  You can try, try, and try again to break down a brick wall with your head and all your are going to get is a headache ~ or dead, mostly dead.

Two things to remember;

  1. Bloody minded perseverance will often rescue what looks like a lost cause.
  2. Sometimes it’s better to walk away and do something else instead.

Some say that successful people know when to chuck in a losing hand.  And that if you are knocked down get right back up again.  All I know is that Faint Heart never won Fair Lady.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

even if you think you’re beat

rise like a Phoenix and live again

8 responses

  1. Bloody minded perseverance only gets you so far. Social skills get you further ironically.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Add the two together and you can do anything. 💖

      Like

  2. Kris ❤ ❤ ❤
    The characters John Wayne portrayed would make a good role model for any young man ~ except that these days the Liberal Establishment would have a fit of the vapours to even consider him as anything but a right wing reactionary…..
    Over all the years Scotland has always seen England as the 'auld enemy…..' and Bannockburn is one of the few times they won and had a hero to celebrate, but even in England we were taught about Robert and the spider.
    All boys should be taught that 'Faint Heart never won Fair Lady…..' along with good manners, how to cook, Latin, mechanics, physics…..
    Jeez, sometimes I crack myself up. All most boys learn these days is how to screw the system.
    Love and Hugs Kris ❤ ❤ ❤

    Like

  3. I don’t remember being taught to be strong at heart. I do remember the story of Robert the Bruce, probably cuz I read it somewhere!!! My schooling taught me to do it myself, I don’t need help, be strong in yourself. I’d have rather been taught to be courageous and persistent. Darn American school system in the 70’s and 80’s!! lol
    However, John Wayne did tend to lean toward the strong and courageous and to get up when you get down. Granted, he wasn’t favored as a role model or teacher!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kris ❤ ❤ ❤
      The characters John Wayne portrayed would make a good role model for any young man ~ except that these days the Liberal Establishment would have a fit of the vapours to even consider him as anything but a right wing reactionary…..
      Over all the years Scotland has always seen England as the 'auld enemy…..' and Bannockburn is one of the few times they won and had a hero to celebrate, but even in England we were taught about Robert and the spider.
      All boys should be taught that 'Faint Heart never won Fair Lady…..' along with good manners, how to cook, Latin, mechanics, physics…..
      Jeez, sometimes I crack myself up. All most boys learn these days is how to screw the system.
      Love and Hugs Kris ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Girls do the same..I’m amazed at how many can’t cook a simple not already made meal!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. A guy who can’t put up a shelf, or fix a car isn’t a Man.
          A girl who can’t cook is…..
          Love and Hugs Kris ❤

          Liked by 1 person

          1. laughing. They are still men, just not handy in that area.

            Liked by 1 person

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