Giving up

Thread Starter


Joined Dec 22, 2010
I was wondering, what are yalls opinions on giving up on things?
And don't just give the "never give up B.S." (if you are going to, give reasoning).

But honestly, we've all given up on things before, usually we regret it, but at what point do you think that it's more acceptable to give up on something and cut your losses than it is to keep going?

Recently I hit a stumbling block (more like ran headfirst into a cement wall), and seriously considered giving up, but being me I stood up, shook off the concussion, and decided to keep running headfirst towards the finish line.
Theres other reasons I'm making this too, fusor comes to mind, but this thread isn't about me, it's about you, and your thoughts on giving up, so please post your thoughts on giving up, both idealistically and realistically, stories are welcome.
(just so we're clear, I'm past the stage where I'm on the brink of giving up, this is legitly general curiosity about your thoughts)

Have at.
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Joined Oct 5, 2010
As a child, so I am always competing with my classmates with academic awards, and of course honorable award.

Never give up as long as there is a chance. And there is always a chance. Do not give up as long as there is a time. You cannot predict how long time you had. So, precious your time.

Me being a child, I always look for the future of mine. Especially, when it comes to my knowledge. I always want to learn it while I am a child, even though I guess I can not. But never give up. As many people says, you are just a child. And yes, I have to enjoy it. The rest of my life will be a lonely away from the happiness of a child.

I have been there also in giving up, but I did not. Thus, I work harder, no matter what. I don't care if I will not get any honorable award, at least my grades will be higher than my previous grades. And who knows, you get the honorable award that you've been dreamed of. So far, thanks to God, I've got it.

So, for me, being a child and not being an adult who has more knowledge than a child, the only advice I can give is that you do not give up as long as there is a time. If there is none, I prefer using your time to another thing that is much valuable than the one you are confusing.

Best regards,
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Thread Starter


Joined Dec 22, 2010
Lightfire, if people tell you that you can't learn something because you're just a child, then know that you CAN learn it irrelevant of age, the answers are out there, and if you can't find them anywhere else we can teach you on here.


Joined Oct 3, 2010
I try to live without regret. I just think of things from a future perspective when deciding whether to continue. Will I regret giving up on this? Will I always wonder what it would have been like if I'd only seen it through to the end? - or - Will I regret dumping countless hours, blood, sweat, tears, and money into something with nothing to show for it, or where the ends don't jusify the means. usually the ends are less material, like the feeling of accomplishment. you have to weigh all the factors. every situation is different.

All that being said, I rarely, if ever, give up on things. You will see my TV working, making sound, even if it's next year, and even if I have to cut a hole and install a car stereo into it.

I did give up on the last TV though because the parts to fix it would be more than the price of a new flat panel LCD TV of the same size.

I realize you are probably talking about something deeper than fixing TVs but the theory still applies.

there's a perspective thing to it also. According to my father I "gave up" on my military career by not reenlisting. According to me I did one job for 4 years and now I'm doing another, and I'm better off.


Joined Mar 24, 2008
I never give up. I set stuff aside with the full intention of getting back to it, and this doesn't always happen, but I didn't give up on it. I suspect this happens a lot more than people suspect. I often wonder if I don't have adult ADD, because it happens so often with me.

You will occasionally see me reopen a thread that I haven't worked on for over a year. This is an example of what I'm talking about.


Joined Feb 5, 2010
My definition of success has changed as I get older.

I got out of bed and got dressed this morning...success! :)

giving up would have been easier, but I would not like the results in this case.


Joined Nov 25, 2009
I am not against giving up on projects and efforts if that's what's best for me. You consider giving up as a bad thing by taking as a fact that starting your project (or effort or whatever) was a wise decision.
That's not always the case. Sometimes it is not cost effective to see things to the end, think about it as chasing a hand in poker. Stop and start from scratch something similar.
Another factor might be the psychological impact of a continuous effort on you. Would you quarrel with your friend over an insignificant matter just to be proven right and then lose him right afterwards, all the while you have become a grumpy and obnoxious person?

I 'll give you two personal examples:
When me and my partner put our slot car project to rest last year, after we showed it to our professor, it was the last we wanted to see of it. Later, he asked us to re-present it to the next year's students. We agreed but that meant that we had to refurbish it to a more presentable form. We did it, even after dumping on it even more money, hours and curses. But in the end we presented a neat project that got the "kids" excited about digital electronics and kept their interest on the uni in general. I take that as time and money well-spent.
On the other hand, two years ago I started learning Japanese. I was doing three hours a week, at the evening. Mind you, even though I know English and French quite fluently and have a knack for foreign languages, one does not simply learn Japanese. It was a tedious process that required a lot of studying and memorization. I ended up not having the time or mood to study at home after the daily classes at the uni and consequently I stopped the Japanese lessons. I could continue going but without studying at home, my money would go to waste and thus I deemed it cost-ineffective.


Joined Jul 7, 2009
Life is a series of experiments. You have a marvelous decision-making machine inside your cranium (unlike politicians) and it lets you choose gazillions of different paths to go somewhere. Not every oil well drilled yields oil.

Given this, there's no clear distinction between "persistent" and "doesn't know when to give up". Part of it is certainly genetic, as my youngest daughter has my persistence gene. But I will give up when my judgment tells me to.

One of the keys to making progress, though, is persistence (combined with initiative, creativity, and a good memory (i.e., a lab notebook)). When I was a student, much of my research was mathematical and I found that I worked on it much of the time when I wasn't formally sitting at a desk. One of the great working times for such things is when you're in bed but can't sleep. You'll find that it's likely your subconscious works on a problem even when your conscious is evading the predators or other mundane stuff. Poincare wrote about this stuff a century ago -- but it's so true: apparently, out of nowhere, you get a brilliant inspiration and mental picture on how to solve a problem that's been bugging you. I've had this happen with all kinds of problems I've worked on, especially engineering design, so it's certainly not specific to any field. I suspect this inspiration comes from hard work and filling your mind with the problem. But I suspect you don't reach this stage unless you're persistent.

So, I'd summarize my feelings on the subject that I give up when my judgment tells me to -- but after 50 years of solving technical problems, I know that a solution often comes to me after persistent hard work, in spite of the roadblocks.

But, of course, each human's journey is unique -- and you have the freedom to choose your own paths. But, you're wise -- always seek the advice of others because a) they love to give it and b) you'll often learn things you didn't know.


Joined Mar 24, 2008
Something that occasionally happens is a new idea, at which you revisit the old idea. The fact is, we (hopefully) learn and improve as we go along.


Joined Nov 30, 2010
Never giving up is like saying, "I never make a mistake and I don't learn as I go".

Everybody starts things and learns that they are kicking a dead horse. Sometimes you find you are using the wrong tools, and the right tools cost too much. Sometimes you find that you aren't willing to spend a month and $200 fixing a $100 device. My rule is that I will fix it myself if I can buy the tools and parts for less than the cost of hiring a shop to do the job. Then I get to keep the tools!

I never design and build something that I could buy cheaper at retail prices. I've been asked if I could build a VCR from scratch. Sure. A couple of years and $5000 should do it..or you can buy one for $129. You have to be practical.

The best part of knowing electronics is the abiliy to design things you can't buy. I specialize in "self-protecting power supplies". You can't buy a Black&Decker drill recharger that won't melt the first time the battery pack shorts a few cells, but I have one. It cost me 2 regulator chips and a used air conditioner transformer. You can't get a 10 amp Variac with a digital readout for $20, but I got a Variac core for free and built exactly that for less than $20. That's what I call success.

On the other hand, I had no tools to find out if a "free" CB radio worked. I paid a shop $16 just to tell me if it worked. Way cheaper than me buying a frequency counter and an RF wattmeter. If that is "quitting", call me a quitter. I quit when somebody else can do it better and cheaper than I can.


Joined May 8, 2011
Sometimes I think it's important to know when to cut one's losses - to not "throw good money after bad" as it were.

However! I think the individual should be the judge. If you quit something, but it nags at the back of your mind and otherwise bothers you, that might be a sign to stick with it.

An example: in 2001 I wrote a children's book (about 80,000 words - so about 6 months of effort). We have a very small number of publishers in NZ, and while all had positive things to say about it, they didn't want to publish it. Some of my friends were quite surprised when I said I was going to write another one. Ten years later, I've written 10 books - none yet published, but getting closer. I got shortlisted to the final 5 of a novel competition, so *important point here* while it's still fun or feels like unfinished business, I'll stick with it.

Other things like wives, jobs, and kids soak up time too, so you have to weigh your projects up against and with those.

Well, that's my 2.4c worth :)


Joined Jun 7, 2009
If I'm working on a project and realize that I've run out of resources, I wouldn't consider the resulting actions to be 'giving up'. To me, 'giving up', means giving away, just to escape the cause. The only times I've 'giving up' is when someone else is involved and they take an unacceptable and non negotiatable position. An example would be that I 'gave up' on my first marriage.