For months I’ve been working on one project. For months I’ve torn my hair out over it. I want to quit, but I say to myself, you’re just being immature – don’t quit now, you made a commitment.

I don’t charge per hour, I charge per job. The price tag on this one was $1200 and I’ve turned down about $7000 worth of work just to finish it and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. I have neglected my friends, my family, my health and now I have about a hundred dollars to my name. That and school starting on Monday is usually not a good combination(feel free to make a donation on the “Why we do it” page ;)). So, when is it time to toss in the towel? I used to say never, but today I had to make a decision:

Spoke therapy(as my grandpa calls it) is the name of the game. He and I are the two people in my family who ride motorcycles. It’s not my normal way of “getting outside”, but a very effective way to clear your head make a decision. Luckily this happened on a particularly clear January day. I, like any sane human being, like to weigh my options before making large decisions. Do I give up my word and move on? Struggle to get back up while going to school all the while looking for quick work to pay for school and books? Or do I keep at it, not knowing how much more I’m going to lose – how much school I’ll have to give up and how much of my family’s time I’ll have to take? I had made a commitment to finish the work, so until now the answer seemed obvious.

At about mile twenty, having passed my favorite swimming spot on the big blue shimmering lake, passed most of the hiking trails I spent my whole life exploring and even passed the fishing area where I spent every summer until I was twelve years old, I realized that life and maturity is just as much about figuring out when enough is enough as it is about keeping your word and persisting. I’m not immature for quitting after this much – perhaps I would have been after quitting back in October when I first started having difficulties, but I have lost my life and need to pick myself back up.

Today out on the open road, I had to ask myself this question: What’s more important to you, your word or your family? Two days ago, my girlfriend said this to me, “You can’t do this forever. How will you make a life for yourself and for us?”. Those sharp words cut my heart just as much as the fact that my little brother so craves my attention, but there is nothing I can do because I’m bound in chains. He loves the outdoors just as much as I do, but he just sits there in front of the TV waiting for me to spend time with him. My little sister is a missionary in India, but my attempts to talk to her have ended abruptly because of some work emergency(that I’m not even getting paid to fix).

Don’t let anything consume you like this

Being outside helps me clear my head. It helps me make decisions without any confusion – think through every scenario and realize what’s important in life. I would not have thought to myself that I wasn’t being immature by ceasing this project had I not gone outside. I now need to harness down and get work to pay for school, but I feel liberated. If you are being held from what is important or otherwise need to make a big decision, I would urge you to get outside and clear your head.

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