Do you have a goal you’re just not reaching? Are you hanging tough, giving it all you got and still not achieving what you want? Well, you might be better off if you just give up. At least that’s what researchers suggest in a study recently published in the journal Psychological Science.
A series of experiments conducted by psychologists Gregory Miller and Carsten Wrosch led them to develop tools that can distinguish between people who faced difficult goals and persisted and those that just gave up. They used these tools to study a group of teenagers for a full year. In this work, the researchers found that people who gave up on goals they couldn’t achieve were mentally and physically healthier than the people who kept at it.
Should average jogglers quit?
Fortunately, I never put much stock in what psychologists have to say. It’s not like they are doing REAL science. Human behavior is so complicated that psychologists cut corners and make too many mistaken assumptions to come to any conclusions. This “tool” of theirs sounds like a bunch of bunk. There is no reason you should give up. Goals can give your life meaning and achieving them isn’t always the point.
However, they do raise an interesting question. Should we average jogglers of the world give up on our dreams of becoming the fastest marathoning juggler in the world?
Back when I first started trying to break the world record, the time to beat was 3:20:48. In 2004, I missed it by less than 2 minutes. Now, Michal has just lowered the joggling record to 2:50:09. Seriously, I don’t know if I have the talent to get that fast. Maybe if I lost 25 pounds, doubled my mileage, sprinted more often and got a good coach, I could get closer. But I don’t know.
So, if you’re like me and you have a goal that seems impossible, try this tact. Change goals. Find something else to accomplish. That’s what I did. Instead of breaking the world record for joggling a marathon, I’ll become the fastest ultra marathoning joggler in the world. My new mantra…
If you can’t go faster, go longer.