Walt Disney rightly said, ‘The difference between winning and losing is most often, not quitting.’ So true, yet followed by just a few. Most people quit trying when they are about to reach their goal. The reasons are many. However, the biggest reason is that we get tired of starting it all over again, time after time. We get fed up going over the same arduous routine repeatedly.
As I mentioned earlier, success is also defined as getting up one more time than you fall down. The ketchup bottle experiment explains it all so well.
During March to May 2012, I conducted an experiment on around 500 students of an engineering college in North India. The total number of students was divided into smaller groups of 10. The participants were handed out ketchup bottles which were made of thick glass and were covered with black paper completely. No one was allowed to see the quantity of the content inside the bottle. In these bottles was just a little amount of ketchup, so little that the bottle would have to be tapped many times before even a few drops would trickle out.
None of the bottles were empty. In order to check the perseverance of the candidates, it was declared, ‘a few bottles contain some ketchup and a few bottles are empty. Your job is to identify which bottle is not empty and does contain some ketchup, by just tapping the back of the bottle, as many times as you require to and then get the ketchup out of the bottle into the plate below, which would mark the achievement of your final goal.’
The results of the experiment were startling. A huge number of candidates (47% to be exact) gave up after tapping the bottom of the bottle several times and declaring their bottles to be empty. When the paper was removed it was discovered (in around 85% of the cases) that a small part the little amount of ketchup that the bottle contained, had almost reached the brim of the bottle at the time the candidate holding the bottle gave up. This experiment clearly showed that out of 500 participants, a whopping 235 participants quit trying, presuming that the bottle was empty i.e. their effort would not bear fruit. Out of those 235, as much as 199 candidates were about to reach their goal. Shocking isn’t it? This experiment acted as an eye-opener for all those who were a part of it. Not just the test subjects but the organizers (Me and my team) too.
Ernest Miller Hemingway the famous American author and journalist shared his wisdom with the world in the following words:
Before you act, listen,
Before you react, think,
Before you spend, earn,
Before you criticize, wait,
Before you pray, forgive,
Before you quit, try.