The Golden Rule of Persistence

When I was at the end of my rope all I wanted to do was to give up.

Nothing seemed to work for me, I was all alone and had nothing to my name. Over 20 years I had worked as hard as I possibly could only to have nothing to show for it… I did not even have a friend by my side.

My entire life had seemed like a big f*cking waste.

At that time in my life I was so depressed I wasn’t far off of suicide, holding a knife in my hand at one point ready to end my life.

Somehow, I made it through, and all I knew after this was that I had to change my life.

So I began to read and improve myself.

I listened to hundreds of hours of content, read dozens of books, got a coach and tried everything I could not to go back to that dark time in my life.

And through that grind something blossomed: A purpose.

When I had nothing left to lose I thought, for the first time in my life, about what it was that I really wanted to do in my life.

I had been studying Psychology and got fed up with the fact that we only learned theories about things that didn’t matter anymore and never got any real practical advice for helping people.

That core desire of wanting to help others remained, but in a very different way.

I did not want to help people deal with their disorders or mental diseases; I wanted to help the people walking on the streets with frowns on their faces.

I wanted those people to realize that life can be better, that there is always a reason to smile and that they have more power than they think they do.

I wanted to show everyone how great they could be and how great their life could be.

That was where I wanted my new goal to take me, so I started to work for it.

At the beginning, I worked for over 10 hours a day for a good 6 months before I hit my first major roadblock.

Until then the fear of going back into that dark hole and the interest of learning so many new things kept me going, but after 6 months of getting nothing at all from all that hard work I started to despair.

What if this didn’t work for me?

What if I made a mistake?

What if all of this work would only lead me back to this dark place? Would I ever come out again?

Doubts plagued me, fear gripped me and it didn’t let go until I cried myself to sleep.

For 18 Months I had moments like this at least once a month, maybe even more…

Moments where I thought of giving up, where I wanted to quit, where so much doubt and fear appeared that I just wanted to get away… but I didn’t give up.

Somehow, for some reason, I kept pushing.

Even though I cried myself to sleep so many times out of fear, I knew it was just a fear and nothing more. But the fears grew nonetheless.

As I reached the 18 month of trying to make my dream into a reality I still had nothing to show for it. I hadn’t helped a single person.

But what was more, I didn’t make any money either and I was already in debt. I only invested and never saw any return and I would be out of money soon.

I would have no job, no finished education, and no money in my bank account… and I did not help a single person.

It would have been so much easier to just give up and take the safe route. Yet, I kept going.

As the fears piled on I kept pushing forward, fighting every one of them and just kept on keeping on. I had no idea why I did, all I knew was I had to keep going.

And then it happened.

My first answer went viral on Quora and everything changed after that.

I started to get recognition, people started to contact me, I started to learn more about myself, give more to others, and I actually changed people’s lives.

People came from all over the world and wanted to talk to me, wanted me to coach them and wanted to listen to my stories.

I would have given up at least a dozen times, and it would have been far easier than to persist, but, in the end, I didn’t, and I am so glad I didn’t.

Because of those horrible nights, because I stood back up time and time again, and because I didn’t give in, my life is what it is today.

My golden rule for life, as cliché as it is, is to persist no matter what. If you want something you get it. And you do not give up before you get it. Not for anything.

You can give up at any step of the way, but once you give up, there is no going back. Once you give up, you truly fail.

But unless you give up there will always be a light, always hope at the end of the tunnel and always a possibility that you may succeed.

Persist. Not because it’s easier, but because it’s what matters.

Stop being less than you can be and reach your goals. Send me a message saying “Coaching” to work 1 to 1 with me. Lukas Schwekendiek

Originally published at www.quora.com.

Life Coach, Speaker, Writer. Published on TIME, Inc & Huffington Post.