Never Give Up Too Soon.

Never Give Up Too Soon.

I first came to find the phrase, ‘never give up’ common when I was very new in secondary school. At that point I didn’t quite clearly understand what it meant simply because I wasn’t ambitious enough I suppose. Besides things seemed to move by smoothly and we could always get our way round with issues.

Growing up in the village wasn’t though especially in my childhood days. We ate, we played, we schooled and we grazed animals. That was all we did. In the school I went, competition wasn’t stiff until when I was almost doing my Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE). But still then, our world was all around us.

After my fist term exams in secondary school, I realized I wasn’t smart as I thought. In fact I was floored by even those who reported to school later than I did. I realized my approach to studies was either unique or I was simply giving up on education altogether. Nevertheless I struggled within that year and made it to form two.

I don’t know what happened at this point but I remember trying my level best and improving going forward. And just like that, I finished my secondary education and joined college. Interestingly enough, I joined a college in the city of Nairobi for that matter. Over time I have come to learn what it means not to give up.

When I decided to run for office while in college for the student council body, I thought I was going to sail through easily. I drew my plan and strategy which to me appeared very exemplary. As a matter of fact, I now look and see how wrong I was especially in terms of giving up too soon.

In the back of my mind I knew money ruled the underworld of campus politics. I didn’t have enough of that after failing to raise enough funding. And just like that, I announced my stepping down from the race although I was a bit late because ballot papers had been printed and like that I still found myself on the ballot papers.

In the end I voted for myself as well as a few others who believed in me and as I later discovered, I gave up way too early. I only needed to convince people that I could deliver. That gave me the greatest lesson in life on why I should not give up whatsoever in my pursuits. It is only a matter of time before things fall to place. Confidence is supreme.

This thing repeated itself last week on Monday and is the very reason I am writing this. I woke and picked a few materials from town to go try and make something I thought was cool. I had read about the making process for some time preceding this specific day and I was sure it would work perfectly right or so I believed.

When we embarked the making process with my friend, we decided to give it the approach we presumed could give us the best outcome. A few minutes into the process, we were giving up. We decided to start again on a new process we researched about on that day. But something in me told me to try and go on with the first process.

Funny enough, the second path took us to the destination very quickly despite the quality of work being a bit different to what we exactly could have wished for. But as I struggled with the first process to try and prove myself that it could work, I kept giving up. Yet I held my guns up and just kept going. At the end of a long time that looked like eternity, what we started out by believing won’t work, ended up working too fine.

As I looked back after the process was done, I, in a way understood why we are not supposed to give up too soon. You can imagine what Thomas Edison went through when trying the one thousand failed experiments while coming up with the light bulb as it is believed. Comparing that with how soon some of us give up in our endeavors and we seem to be jokers. I say this with authority given the fact that it takes very long to achieve mastery.

Robert Green in his book Mastery says that it takes about ten thousand active hours for one to master a field. This means that you are lucky if you try an entrepreneurial journey and succeed in less than those hours. I learnt this when I went digging on how old some of our favorite brands are. Be sure they were not started yesterday. Most of them struggled for some long time before they became what they are today.

So as long as you belief in the course you are travelling or the path you decide to traverse, it will need a lot of stamina and patience for you to hold on to the very end. The only thing I have come to be sure of is that there is no one who regretted by not giving up. Many succeeded and the few who didn’t, they learnt invaluable lessons.

Giving up without a fight is the highest level of mediocrity and is as good as accepting to be a loser.



Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Politics, Policy, Technology, Current Affairs, Opinion, Agriculture, Energy, Education, Entrepreneurship, Governance, International Emerging Issues, Society, and culture. For featuring, promotions or support write to us at

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