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GET BACK UP: Why And How You Should NEVER Quit Trying

Arthur Worsley
by Arthur Worsley
M.A. Psychology, Oxford. McKinsey Alum. Founder & Editor at TAoL.

Here’s something I repeat A LOT in TAoL’s TRACKTION Community

Being productive is NOT about staying on the wagon. Being productive is about getting awesome at picking yourself up and repeatedly getting back on again.

It’s kind of like riding a bicycle. When you start out, you’re all over the place. You fall every few meters and you don’t end up going very far.

But then as you practice, you get better and better at correcting. You ride longer without falling over. And when you do fall, it’s not face first. You put your foot down for a moment then you quickly get back on your way.

Eventually, you learn how to ride almost perfectly. But here’s the thing, while it may LOOK like you’re in total control (and it may even feel that way), the truth is you’re ALWAYS falling off. You’re constantly correcting your balance.

The same goes for productivity.

I’ve been teaching this stuff for years, I’ve been working at it for decades and from the outside it may look like I’ve nailed it. But the truth is I’m STILL constantly falling off my bicycle. I feel overwhelmed. I get stuck. I don’t hit my daily or weekly priorities. I don’t follow through on my habits.

But there’s a difference between new me and old me. And that difference is that I’m much better at getting back on track. Instead of a dud month, I have a dud week. Instead of a dud week, I have a dud day. And sometimes all it takes to catch and correct my trajectory is a couple of minutes or hours.

Now obviously, a big part of that change comes from practice. The secret to riding a bicycle on any terrain, under any conditions, while life constantly throws up new obstacles is just thousands of miles in the saddle.

But the reason I’ve put in those miles, the reason I’ve put up with the crashes and the injuries and the setbacks, the reason I’ve refused to give up on mastering “Life OS” all comes down to mindset.

It’s because I expect every leg of the journey to be difficult. And I expect it to stay that way. I realise that it never gets easier, you just get stronger. And I’m OK with that. I’m prepared to keep getting back on the wagon, day in day out, because I KNOW that I’m going to fall off.

So here’s what I’d like you to take away today. I want you to understand that NOBODY comes out of the womb perfectly organised and even productivity pros mess up regularly. David Allen misses weekly reviews. Marie Kondo accrues junk. James Clear misses workouts. Oprah Winfrey loses focus. Tony Robbins feels demotivated. Brian Tracy sets crappy goals.

But the reason those pros are productive, the reason other people you know get more done or find more balance or are working a job that they love, is because they just never give up. And one of the main reasons they never give up is because they never expect things to come easily, no matter how smart or lucky they get.

They didn’t fall of the bicycle once or twice and go, “I guess that’s not for me” – they put in the hours to get good at the only thing that genuinely matters, the thing that underlies every other problem in your life, the ability to get big stuff done.

If that resonates with and excites you; if you’d be up for me showing you a few tips, tricks and scars I’ve picked up on my quest to get more big stuff done, then I’ll always be ready to welcome you in the TRACKTION Community →

But whether you join us or not, let me close out by telling you this.

The best graduates of TRACKTION, the most productive people I know, the most inspiring people I’ve met, are the ones who keep getting back up; the ones who go again and again EVEN WHEN they mess up, EVEN THOUGH they’ve been trying for years EVEN IF something like a global pandemic lands in their lap.

The best people I know do hard things BECAUSE they know they’ll be hard.

So whatever you’re working on right now, DON’T GIVE UP. Don’t expect things to go your way. Don’t forget that even Roger Federer, Tiger Woods and Sam Kerr all fluff the occasional shot.

Keep getting up every time you’re knocked down. Start right now, with what you have, from where you are. Keep looking for better tools as you go along.

Don’t HAVE a great day, MAKE it great by giving it the best that you can.


And I’ll look forward to seeing you back here…

Or in the TRACKTION Community very soon.

Arthur “Winner Never Quit; Quitters Never Win” Worsley


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