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Why you should never give up

  • Hoppler Team
  • 30/12/1899
High-Intermediate/Advanced

"Never, never, never give up."
You hear this a lot in sales teams, projects and, especially, language learning. But why do we say this and is it true?

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The first point is the psychological. If you have a positive attitude, and always plough through your setbacks or difficulties, then you never lose hope and are continuously optimistic. And if you are results focused, you have a much better chance of success if you are positive and focused than dejected and disperse.

Of course you could argue that this does not mean that you WILL get results in the end. It really depends on what your objective is and what the real chances of success are. In fact we are generally supremely bad at evaluating probabilities and tend to give outside chances much more probability than they are worth (playing the lottery for example). The fact is if you have a positive never-give-up outlook, well life just treats you better, whether you get what you aim for or not.

The second point is scientific and mathematic. In tests, groups of people were given a game to play. They were given some money and told to bet 100 times on the flip of a coin (heads or tails). If they won they would get $1.50 and if they lost they paid $1. They were told that they didnít have to bet on every round, the choice was up to them. The ones that lost the most, were the ones that skipped rounds, choosing to bet sometimes and skipping rounds sometimes. The ones that won most were those that played every round. The fact is that only by continuing and never quitting, even if you are losing at the beginning, will you be guaranteed a payout IN THE END Ė in this case you should be up 50% if you play every round, if the average heads and tails is equally distributed. Itís the Law of Probability.

So the message here is that though things may not seem to be working right now, if you look at the big picture and keep flipping, then math and science will make sure you win in the end. And if you use your optimism by focusing on putting those odds (that is, how much the payout is compared to the chances) a little in your favour every time, then you can be sure that success is guaranteed and there really is truth in never, never, never giving up.

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