What Else Are You Going to Do?

My mother’s sacrifices kept me out of jail. I truly believe that. She spent years working night and day at her low paying job before coming home each night and practically raising two children on her own. This meant she was constantly putting off taking care of herself. Her sacrifice, combined with the wrong lifestyle decisions and a paucity of knowledge about healthy living started taking their toll. Today, she suffers from high blood pressure and pre-diabetes symptoms. But… 

…since she retired she’s been busy making changes.

Every month when I visit she seems to have added another healthy habit to her daily routine. She walks outside. She has a treadmill for wintertime. I’ve even stumbled across her doing intervals on it. Intervals! At 70 years old. Her son couldn’t be more proud.

Her diet has improved. There are more greens prepared for every meal when I’m there, and I’m no longer the only one eating them. She mixes spinach into mashed potatoes. She makes fruit smoothies for breakfast. And she’s constantly watching cooking shows and scouring the web for healthy recipes.

Because what else was she going to do?


What good would it do for her to just give up? What would happen if she didn’t even try to eat a little better or exercise a little more? That would only hasten her decline.

And what of you and your struggles?

Yes, achieving your goals and making progress in any area of life is hard. But what else are you going to do? Quit? Give up your self-reliance and depend on others?

No, you’re not going to do that. You’re going to persevere through the dips and overcome the obstacles that are in your way until you achieve the success you deserve.

If you smoke, but struggle to stop, are you just going to give in to the addiction until it kills you? Are you going to quit on quitting?

No, of course not.

Today you’re going to go two hours and fifteen minutes between cigarettes. Tomorrow, two hours and twenty-five minutes between puffs. And so on and so on until you are going days, weeks, months, and years without lighting up.

If you’re trying to lose 25 pounds but progress is slow, what are you going to do? Quit? Remain overweight and unhealthy? Start eating more and exercising less? No, of course not, that will only make it worse. If you fall off track today, then you’re just going to start again tomorrow.

If you’re building a new business, yes, it’s hard. Results won’t come overnight. But what else are you going to do? Quit? Go back to the job you hate, working for a boss that doesn’t appreciate your efforts and for a company that doesn’t make a real difference in the world?

No, of course not. You’re going to review your vision, put your energy into identifying the right solution for your chosen marketplace, and spend time on improving your offer until it connects with more and more of the people you are dedicated to helping.

You see, quitting only makes things worse. It might make things feel easier in the short-term, but, in the long run, quitting is the worst thing you can do.

Giving up on trying to quit smoking would make today easier, but your long-term health would suffer. Quitting your health and fitness program to sit on the couch will give you pleasure today but will make your later years more difficult and full of complications. And quitting on building your own business would reduce your stress this week but would lead to constant worry about the kind of life you’ll live during your retirement.

When the only other option is quitting – and thereby making things worse – then you have no other choice but to soldier on.

At Christmas time in 1944, while millions of men and women slept safe and sound in their beds in North America, thousands of young men faced the toughest task of their lives in the Battle of the Bulge. It was the largest and bloodiest battle fought by American soldiers in World War II.

They had stormed the beaches at Normandy. They had marched over 200 miles in the race to Berlin. They lost friends, scores of friends. And now, in the dead of winter, deep in the Ardennes forest, caught by surprise (at Christmas time no less), they were being attacked and pushed back like never before.

But what were they going to do? Quit?

No, for that would only have made it worse. Sure it would have been easier in the short-term not to fight, to retreat, to surrender, but that would only have made things worse for them, their fellow soldiers, and the entire war effort.

Instead, despite freezing in their foxholes day and night, wearing the same clothing for weeks on end, and being denied access to the basic elements of humanity, these young men dug in and took back the line. They sacrificed more than you or I will ever be asked to give, because they knew that quitting was not an option.

They were beyond the point of no return.

Just as you are past the point of no return in your journey to success.

Because what else are you going to do?


No. You can quit when you’re dead. For now, it’s time to get out there and finish this journey. As you persevere, remember one of the mottos that I live by.

“It will all be over soon.”

All bad times come to end.

Until then, we are left with a powerful choice. To quit or to carry on. If we quit, we only make the ending worse. If we carry on, we will feel the situation getting harder at first. However, everyday that you make progress, things will get better and the future will become brighter.

Never forget this.

If you are dealing with a divorce, never forget that there will soon be better days. You will fall in love again. If you struggle financially, understand that there are proven methods to getting out of debt and getting back on track. If you are trying to overcome health problems, know that there are solutions and that there is support out there for you. You can succeed. You can take control of your future.

Persevere through the dips, and you’ll come out stronger on the other side.

Because what else are you going to do?


Tell us how you stay motivated to persevere through the tough times. 

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  • You have written a very profound piece that gets to the heart of the dilemma facing many of us self employed people.
    However you didn’t stop there. You encouraged us to keep on going and it is much appreciated.
    No doubt the regret of not doing or trying your best is much more painful than that of working through the present despair and negativity of our inner voices.
    Besides you might give up right on the edge of a great breakthrough and never know what could have been.

    • Mzia Lezhava

      Dear Graig,

      I respect your great deeds, clever ideas, creative works and wonderful personality.
      You are at all different from others and really unique one, thank you !

      I am one of enthusiastic Georgian teachers. I admire and love your very lovely project.

      I would like to be very sincere saying, that there are some reasons I decided to quit:
      Somehow it seemed to me, that I tried to swim upstream against the current and constantly had a battle with myself, complaining and saying, that I am not doing something as it was necessary.
      If anyone, ever took the responsibility of encouraging or giving the direction to me, as one the project participants, it may be supported or highlighted my way..
      I tried to read your, the Editor’s wise, very clever letters, but they always had been too general and had never been addressed to me, and I never was able to find there personally my problems, it had been very difficult for me, as the Georgian person to discover or understand my week points or if there had been any successes.
      No one doubts, that any human being needs the finances, and only the best is always awarded, but it would be great if the foreign participants, like me, had had been criticized or praised by your team, we would have been able to receive the right decisions to quit and why, or stay to carry on and why.

      I would like to say, that I myself never give up, not because, that I am a heroin, simply I do like to be devoted to my lovely jobs, but quit if I feel that there is no place for me.
      I am very openhearted saying, that the people at my age, if they are not so busy as I am, can never find the project more pleasant like yours.

      Yes, You are right, I achieve my goals and make some progress in my professional area.
      Yes, life is very hard for me as Georgia, my country today is still financially in great problems.
      But I have poor but my own and lovely business. I had never had a boss, it is one of appreciations of my company.

      Yes dear Graig, quitting only makes things worse for me and why, I shall tell you…I dream to finish my book at last and one can have no idea how great present offers me your project and some more, sometimes it inspires me and somehow furnishes my dreams, that’s why quitting of course is not an option from my side, on the contrary, return in journey may become the way of success for that very interesting jobs I do, really poor, but lovely jobs.

      I am thrilled everyday to make progress, as I have no time to loose, things must get better and the future must become brighter, if I really manage to destroy my usual traditions, I may fall in love again as well…. and… today if I struggle financially. May be I really find any proven methods to getting out of debt and getting back on track.

      Those are my solutions…I shall see if there appears any support out there for me. I do like successes. I am excellent at taking control of my future. I am thrilled to see what is happening on the other side by making the positive changes in my life, as …the time and that magic circle of the habits…and… the style of my life ruins my dreams, though… none of them is able to chock my fantasies.

      Forgive me, if I have made you tired…

      Thank you for everything.

  • Perfect timing for this article on all fronts – business, finances, health and being a caregiver for my spouse. Quitting definitely feels like it would be easier but so much more difficult to swallow.
    Thank you.
    Christine Brownlee

  • That’s a great post for difficult times Craig.

    Another interesting thing about the word “quit”–it works well in marketing. Since people seem to intrinsically understand that quitting is not going to get them what they want, I use the word “quit” in the wording above my email list unsubscribe link and when people are looking to cancel their subscriptions to my services. Nobody sees themselves as a quitter!

    Thanks for the great insights Craig!


  • Rebecca

    I just had this conversation with myself!! LOL Thanks for affirming my belief and self talk. 🙂 When life throws jaw breaking jabs, you learn to fight harder!! Giving up is not an option.

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Right on, Rebecca,

  • Rabea

    Thank you for this article Craig. It’s this kind of message that I really value Early to Rise for.
    Being honest, I’m still so far from where I want to be on my journey to financial freedom, in fact, sometimes it seems like I’ve made no progress at all. But the reality is that Early to Rise has helped me to take true responsibility for my own situation, and this mindset-shift is changing the way I live. Perhaps I’m a slow-learner, but I won’t quit, and eventually my financial goals will be reached.
    I refuse to quit because I believe I’m responsible for a life which God gave me, a life which He has a unique plan for.

  • Ruth

    Great timing Craig! My key man in my business has just left, I am trying to sell my house and move to NZ where my kids are playing havoc, and flare-ups of fibromyalgia and arthritis aren’t helping. But as you say quitting is not an option, so here’s how I usually cope with the nadir:
    I allow myself one day for throwing a tantrum/grieving/being outrageous. This day generally involves alcohol or some other usually restricted treat. I indulge in DVDs of my favourite films, re-read my favourite passages in books. And then, after that day is over, (and I’ve apologised to whoever had to listen to me sound off) I list all the opportunities that the crisis has allowed – e.g. more time in the UK to ensure my pets are resettled properly, opportunities for other staff members to shine, learning to communicate with my kids better long distance in a way that helps me listen and understand better. With a radical change in attitude and taking responsibility for the situation, I tend to find that other doors open up – in fact, this has happened recently for almost all the problems I’m dealing with.
    Once you start feeling gratitude toward the situation for helping you grow, its amazing how good things appear. That’s my experience, anyway.

  • Thomas

    Great article! Hits close to home! Quitting is not an option! Keep up the great work Craig!


    Very inspirational and great timing. Thank you!

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Happy to help!

  • Andy Greenwood

    As the song goes ‘I get knocked down but I get up again, they’re never going to keep me down’…Damn right..

  • There are many times when we all feel like quitting might be the easier alternative. However, we persevere. When I feel like quitting, I resolve to redouble my efforts instead. I say to myself “Back to work!” and have found that the solutions usually present themselves.

  • Janine

    Thanks Craig, this article came at the right time. I”m not starting my own business but I want to get into a field of work that is totally unrelated to what I am doing. I’m in my 30’s and keep thinking that I should have done this a decade ago and job prospects in south africa aren’t very good etc, but I realize that I cant give up. Even if it takes me 10 years to get into the industry, I just should not quit!!! Thanks for the great articles Craig.

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Happy to help!

  • Grace Atemie

    Thanks Craig, your articles have greatly influenced my life and ways of thinking. i am so determined to success ed, l know I’ll never give up.

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Stay strong!

  • Maria

    Amazing article that is giving me thr strenght I need to continue building my business. I will have tough days and my income won’t be what I want it to be but I wont quit. I will keep going because I have a destination to get to. Thank you Craig!!!

  • Sarah

    Thanks for the article. During tough times I remind myself that depression is a sign of regretting the past; anxiety is a sign of worrying about the future. Both are signs of not being present in the moment. Which is the only moment that makes a difference.

  • Lucy Mauterer

    Craig, for a litte over 20 months I have been fighting a dibilitating illness. Doctors didn’t have a clue as to why my joints suddenly started becoming inflamed. First it was my knees, then my wrists, then a progression to every joint in my body except my elbows. The pain was beyond excruciating. By sheer force of will, I got out of bed every morning. Every step was accompanied with nauseating pain. I could not eat and lost a lot of weight. As I went from doctor to doctor, I became resolved to find the trigger that started all this. Finally, when my dentist was taking an x-ray, it was discovered that I had a badly infected tooth under a crown. I had not noticed it because the tooth nerve had died. I felt nothing and it looked normal because of the crown. By that time I was seeing an Environmental medical doctor who agreed that a bad tooth, pumping bacteria into the body on a daily basis could trigger an immune response that mimics lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. So we had the tooth removed. The surgeon siad it was a pretty big deal and took quite a bit of work to remove all the infected tissue and bone. I had to have bone grafts was well. I am on a detox diet, taking lots of vitamins and minerals, homeopathic remedies, and botanical protocols as well as a natural thyroid glandular, a low-dose drug that slows inflammation, and Prednisone in a low dose to keep inflammation down while my body heals itself. My dentist, oral surgeon, environmental doctor, and my naturpath have all worked together as a team to get me out of the wheelchair and back on my feet. But I could have given up at any point along the way. Believe me, there were days when I wanted to. But every morning I kept getting up and fighting through the pain, believing that a solution was possible. There were doctors that gave up on me. They just didn’t know what to do. They ran every test in the book, every scan, every blood test, nothing showed up as a causal factor. In fact, I tested as healthy on nearly every test. Normal blood pressure, no diabetes, no tumors. The only thing they could find was that my inflammation factors were extremely high, and I was anemic. If I had to give someone facing a challenge, advice, I’d say what you said, never give up. If you are told you just have to live with it, as one doctor said, walk away and try something different. Keep on searching until you solve the challenge. Don’t give up! Today I can walk with little to no pain. Every day is a little better than the last. I actually gained too much weight from the Prednisone but I will work that back off was I am weaned off the medication. May take months but heck, I don’t care. I am alive! Did I say don’t give up? I’ll say it again. Don’t give up!

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Wow Lucy, get well soon! Stay strong and get stronger!

  • Teri Skinner Chadwick

    Man, this is a great post!! Thank you, Craig! Just what I needed. I have a couple of areas of my life that are a daily struggle for me. I find myself saying, “Oh, what’s the use?” And then I shake it off and say, “Ah, but one step in front of the other, and you WILL get there!… you WILL succeed!” I like the flip side of that coin, which you are presenting: “What am I going to do?… quit?” By the grace of God, NO.

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Stay strong!

    • ttcert

      Keep on pushing on!

  • Ray

    Love the message but love the responses. You know your not alone.

    • Craig Ballantyne


    • ttcert


  • Lemuel Jackson

    Everyday and my 37years of living no quit! Just learning now to be productive with my time and be more proactivee. Thanks for article.

    • Craig Ballantyne


    • ttcert

      Well done!

  • Jana Bogs

    I am realizing my dreams! I have and am continuing to persevere.

    It was a God send to win 2nd in the Transformation Contest. I’m using the money to go to Mexico for a dental revision so I can finally get well.

    Almost every blood test showed normal for the last 4 1/2 years, but I was not fully healthy. Multiple doctors did not have a clue. I did not give up searching for the cause. I had an infection under a dental crown so it didn’t show up right away. Fortunately, it did hurt A LOT so I found the problem, and I did suspect it as a problem beyond my mouth. I believe that getting the tooth out AND GETTING THE AREA CLEANED OUT COMPLETELY is key to my overall recovery. Most dentists do not understand how to do this correctly.

    Note: Never have a root canal, or fillings that contain mercury, copper or aluminum. NEVER GET A BONE GRAFT THAT IS NOT YOUR OWN BONE. Get metal “pins”/bolts/screws removed from your bones. If you do have a tooth removed be sure to have the ligament burred out also. If you have had removals in the past, i.e. wisdom teeth, you’ll need to have the cavitations opened and cleaned out. Less than 1% of dentists know this. Google Hal Huggins and watch his videos.

    • ttcert

      Great work on the contest, stay strong.

  • CHanson

    During tough time I just keep moving, one day at a time, one hour at a time, one step at a time. Just keep going with the power of going slow.

    • ttcert

      Yes, keep going!

  • Martha

    Craig – I’ve been following you since before you became editor of ETR. Your messages are inspirational, common-sense and actionable, although they are sometimes difficult to hear. My husband of almost 40 years died suddenly recently and while it feels like my life should be over too, quitting is not option. There is a today and, God willing, there will be a tomorrow. I can still contribute to the world. Thank you for reminding me.

    • ttcert

      Stay strong Martha, he would be proud of you for going on strong!

  • Janice

    Fantastic Craig! I really needed this and I’m going to share this with as many people as I can. Thank you for sharing with us and giving us our marching orders!

    • ttcert

      Happy to help!

  • Pete

    I needed this, but unfortunately it isn’t giving me the usual pep. I’ve been going for well over 6 months now and haven’t even had a glimmer of success yet, and this week I haven’t even met a tiny goal of selling 10 copies of my ebook yet. 10 copies! In a world with 6 billion people that should be easy right? It’s harder than the entire 6 years I spent in the army.
    Just keep going I guess.

    • ttcert

      Pete, you CAN do it. Start by reaching out to others in your marketplace and helping them. Make sure to read EVERYTHING I’ve written at http://www.Internetindependence.com