“I been down so long, the bottom looked like up.” That line, from an old Blood, Sweat and Tears song, describes the way many people feel. Through bad luck or bad decisions, life just doesn’t seem to be working out the way they planned. Yet many of these people manage to turn things around, pick themselves up, and go on to live full and happy lives. So, what does it take to get that second chance in life? Perseverance.

Unfortunately, too many people quit when things turn sour in life. They blame bad luck or bad circumstances, wallow in self-pity, and stop trying to fix what is wrong. The people who find a way to improve their lot in life understand that life is a marathon, and that over time, continued effort will pay off. They have the ability to look beyond their present circumstances and see the possibilities the future holds for them.

It requires hope. Hope that their circumstances will improve. Hope that if they work hard and never give up, they will eventually get the opportunity to make things better. The keys are to work hard and never give up. It’s not hoping to win the lottery to solve your money problems. It’s not sitting at home waiting for good fortune to fall in your lap. It means going out and working toward your goal.

Getting a second chance in life is about self-discipline to keep working even when things look like they’ll never turn around. It’s about self-discipline to keep working even when the doors keep getting slammed in your face. A story was told about Thomas Edison that after failing over 100 times to build a working light bulb, he was heard to say, “I didn’t fail. I learned over 100 ways not to build a light bulb.” Edison understood that success and failure are not a matter of getting the results you want every time, it’s about continuing to strive toward your goal regardless of the results.

Many of the most successful people who have ever lived failed before reaching levels of success. What made the difference is that they believed in themselves and their vision, and they picked themselves up every time they fell.

Don’t quit. Even when things look like they’ll never turn around, don’t quit. Even when you’re tired and discouraged, don’t quit. Success may be around the next corner.

This article contributed by Jim Smoot – a writer at


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