Never Give Up

Never give up
Michael Gollin
September 2014

My partner Justin Pierce is a great intellectual property lawyer. Before that he was an Army Ranger and Captain. We were talking shop in my office recently when I choked on my energy drink, consuming it too fast. Despite my coughs and gags he remained calm though attentive. I gave the one finger ‘wait’ signal and he did while my aide Ginah came in and helped.

As I was pulling myself together, I wrote on my phone that having ALS is sort of like being in the military. He pointed to the gift coffee cup on my desk that says “Never never never give up,” quoting Churchill.

Justin said he was remembering being tear gassed in basic training.  It was a surprise after a long hot humid run in Georgia. People coughed, vomited, fell down, passed out. The drill sergeant told them to get up and get moving, drink water, pour it on themselves, and never give up. So they did get up and started running again, and the sergeant was right, that got the tear gas out of their systems.

It was a perfect story, and as I caught my breath and cleared my throat, we turned back to talking shop — the day’s IP conference upstairs, his clients, our colleagues.   Back to normal.

There are many forces in life that make us want to give up. Sometimes it seems impossible to continue. But then there are also good people who give us the strength to get up and keep going.  And once you are moving again, everything is possible.

Lucky Optimists

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
– Winston Churchill

Luck, they say, is the intersection of preparedness and opportunity.

Optimists find opportunities where pessimists find difficulties, according to Churchill.

This explains why optimists are luckier than pessimists.

The result is a virtuous cycle that helps us remain optimistic.

– Michael Gollin