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Who said when you get tired Learn to rest not to quit?

The quote “When you get tired, learn to rest not to quit” is a motivational saying about perseverance, resilience and not giving up when faced with challenges or fatigue. The exact origins of this quote are unclear, as it has been attributed to various authors and speakers over the years. However, the core message remains an impactful and inspiring take on continuing to move forward during difficult times.

This article will explore the meaning behind this popular quote, its uncertain origins, how it has been used over time, and why it resonates with so many people. Understanding the context and background behind widely shared quotes can provide deeper insight into their significance and influence.

What Does “When You Get Tired, Learn to Rest Not to Quit” Mean?

At its core, this quote emphasizes pushing through hardships or exhaustion by taking a restorative break rather than giving up altogether. Some key points on the quote’s message include:

  • Getting tired or weary is a natural part of any challenging endeavor. Everyone faces obstacles and needs to recharge at times.
  • Taking a rest break can replenish motivation and energy to keep going. This is preferable to completely abandoning effort.
  • Learning to properly rest and refocus, instead of permanently quitting, leads to growth and success over time.
  • Quitting may provide short-term relief but stunts long-term achievement and satisfaction.
  • Resting and regaining perspective can reveal new strategies to try and creative solutions.
  • With hard work and strategic rest, one can push through the most difficult undertakings.

In summary, this quote emphasizes that when fatigue sets in, instead of giving up, the most effective response is to find ways to rest and renew motivation. This approach leads to accomplishing greater goals in the long run. The quote advocates resilience and maintaining effort over time.

Uncertain Origins of the Quote

While the quote “When you get tired, learn to rest not to quit” contains an impactful message, its exact origin is unclear. It does not appear to come from one definitive, traceable source. Some key facts on the background of this quote:

  • It does not originate from famous speakers like Winston Churchill or Theodore Roosevelt, though it is sometimes misattributed to them.
  • Different variations on the quote have developed over time, with slightly different phrasing.
  • Self-help experts, motivational speakers, coaches, and authors have used versions of this quote over several decades.
  • It has grown popular on social media and through widespread everyday usage.
  • The earliest known published form of the quote appeared in a 1985 aviation magazine.
  • A version also appeared in a 1989 leadership training manual called The Oz Principle.

In essence, while this quote certainly contains insightful messaging, its exact origin is unknown. It has evolved organically over the years and been shared by many. The resonant message has made it take on a life of its own.

How the Quote Has Been Used Over Time

Though the specific source is uncertain, the quote “When you get tired, learn to rest not to quit” has been impactfully utilized in many contexts, including:

  • Self-help and motivation – It is used to inspire people going through challenges and setbacks to take constructive breaks and keep persevering towards their goals.
  • Health and wellness – Health experts employ the quote to advocate listening to your body’s needs for rest during intense training and avoiding burnout.
  • Entrepreneurship – Startup mentors invoke the quote when encouraging entrepreneurs to work sustainably and avoid complete burnout.
  • Education – Educators and administrators share the message to motivate students taking on heavy workloads to take reflective rest breaks.
  • Sports coaching – Coaches use the quote to push athletes to power through fatigue by resting strategically during demanding training and competition.
  • Workplace culture – Human resource leaders promote the quote to build workplace cultures that value resilience, sustainability and avoiding burnout.

Across many fields, this versatile quote has offered guidance on working through challenges. It will likely continue inspiring perseverance through future generations.

Why This Quote Resonates

There are several key reasons why the quote “When you get tired, learn to rest not to quit” connects with so many audiences, despite its unclear origin:

  • It acknowledges the universal experience of fatigue and burnout when pursuing ambitious efforts.
  • The message promotes self-care and preserving health alongside tenacious work.
  • It offers strategic, constructive advice on handling exhaustion in a healthy way.
  • The quote recognizes the value of rest and renewal to spark motivation and creativity for the long haul.
  • It inspires people to believe they can accomplish great things as long as they rest along the journey.
  • The quote advocates resilience and sticking with meaningful goals despite inevitable challenges.
  • It balances pushing oneself while avoiding burnout and giving up.

For these uplifting and strategic reasons, the core message of this quote hits home for many. It delivers a supportive reminder people need to hear when tackling personal and professional obstacles. Even without a definitive origin, it offers wisdom that resonates across languages and cultures.

Breakdown of the Quote’s Meaning

To fully unpack why this quote resonates, it’s helpful to break down its key components:

When you get tired

This acknowledges the inevitable fatigue everyone experiences when working hard and taking on challenges over time. It accepts tiredness as a natural part of the journey.

Learn to rest

This emphasizes responding to tiredness proactively by purposefully resting. Resting well is something that can be learned and systematically implemented.

Not to quit

This contrasts resting with completely giving up. Resting is positioned as an alternative to quitting when fatigue sets in.

Overall meaning: Reframe exhaustion as a cue to intentionally rest and recharge, in order to power through demanding endeavors over the long term. Avoid impulsively quitting solely due to experiencing normal fatigue.

Reflections on the Meaning

Some reflections on analyzing the deeper meaning of this inspirational quote:

  • It takes wisdom and maturity to rest well instead of impulsively quitting when tired.
  • There is an art to resting enough to sustain effort but not so much that momentum is lost.
  • Intentionally building in rest is crucial for realizing long-term goals.
  • Resting is not a sign of weakness but rather a strategic use of resources.
  • Quitting may sometimes be the right choice, but it should not be the automatic response to getting tired.
  • The quote emphasizes process over outcome, sustaining effort despite ups and downs.

Though simple on the surface, this quote offers deep insight. It provides an empowering perspective on managing energy and drive over time. The appeal is a message that accepts tiring yet provides constructive advice to power through it.

Everyday Applications of the Quote

The inspirational quote “When you get tired, learn to rest not to quit” can be applied to almost any demanding endeavor, including:

Fitness goals: Rest days are essential even during intense training programs. Schedule recovery time to avoid injury or burnout.

Career development: Don’t quit professional growth when it feels tedious. Seek rejuvenating experiences and education.

Relationships: Take a break instead of giving up during conflict. Come back with fresh perspective.

School: Manage academic stress with strategic study breaks. Don’t drop out due to exhaustion.

Passion projects: Long-term dreams require pacing. Rest and refocus when passion fades.

Health challenges: Rest thoroughly between treatments instead of discontinuing care.

The common theme is persevering through discomfort by resting, not quitting outright. We can apply this concept to sustain energy and motivation in nearly any circumstance. It takes self-awareness to know when to push forward versus when to take a break.

Quotes on Similar Themes

Many other influential quotes complement the message “When you get tired, learn to rest not to quit”:

  • “It’s not about how hard you can hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” – Rocky Balboa
  • “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” – Earl Nightingale
  • “Work hard in silence. Let success make the noise.” – Frank Ocean
  • “Never quit. It is the easiest cop-out in the world. Set a goal and don’t quit until you attain it. When you do attain it, set another goal, and don’t quit until you reach it. Never quit.” – Og Mandino
  • “Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races, one after another.” -Walter Elliot

Each of these quotes complements the central idea of sustaining effort over time. They emphasize continuing on despite discomfort and not giving up at the first sign of hardship. Together, these inspirational messages provide constructive outlooks to power through challenges.

Table: Key Points on Resting vs. Quitting

Resting Quitting
Takes strategic breaks to recharge energy and motivation Abandons effort and goals impulsively due to fatigue
Maintains focus on long-term goals Loses sight of larger purpose and vision
Allows time to gain renewed perspective Makes rash decision under exhaustion
Values continuity of effort over time Focuses narrowly on relieving short-term discomfort
Shows resilience and adaptability Demonstrates lack of mental fortitude and self-control

This table summarizes key differences between resting and quitting when faced with fatigue. The quote advocates for the mature, resilient approach of strategic rests over giving up entirely.

Going Deeper on Key Points

To build on the discussion so far, it is worth going deeper on a few key points raised by the inspirational quote:

Resting and renewal come in many forms

Meaningful rest goes beyond just taking a day off or a vacation. It can involve:

  • Adjusting approaches to increase efficiency and avoid wasting energy
  • Setting healthier daily routines with proper sleep, nutrition and exercise
  • Finding social support and community to gain perspective
  • Switching tasks to use different muscles and reduce strain
  • Practicing meditation, reflection and mindfulness to reduce stress
  • Reconnecting to one’s purpose and anchoring in meaningful progress

We each need to learn the personalized combinations of restorative practices that work best. There is an art to cultivating sustainable rhythms between effort and restoration.

It takes courage to rest

In grind-obsessed cultures, resting can wrongly be seen as lazy, uncommitted or self-indulgent. It takes courage and self-care to allow needed renewal, especially for passionate high-achievers. Give yourself permission to rest without guilt or shame.

Resting should happen before quitting is the only option

Waiting too long leads to total burnout where no amount of rest can salvage motivation. Be proactive about resting frequently. Don’t wait until the point of utter exhaustion.

Quitting is sometimes the right choice

While persistence is usually best, quitting can be justified if goals become unhealthy, unrealistic or unnecessary. However, this type of strategic quitting is very different from impulsive quitting due to fatigue alone. Don’t default to quitting when challenges arise. But keep reevaluating if goals are worth continuing.

Resting expands capacity and skills

Time away does more than just relieve fatigue. It allows skills to strengthen with practice over time. Frequent rests make us stronger and more capable when embarking again.

Thoughtfully resting empowers achievement. Mindlessly quitting prevents growth. Listening to this quote can drive success.

Key Takeaways

In summary, here are key points on the quote “When you get tired, learn to rest not to quit”:

  • It advocates constructive resting over defeatist quitting when faced with inevitable fatigue.
  • The quote has unclear origins but has resonated across fields for decades.
  • It acknowledges tiring yet offers strategic advice for powering through with sustainable rhythms.
  • Learning to rest well without losing momentum is crucial for achievement.
  • The core message is inspirational yet grounded. It balances realism with idealism.
  • This versatile quote applies to almost any demanding endeavor or goal.
  • It promotes resilience, healthful self-care, and maintaining effort over time.

Simple yet profound, this quote offers wisdom for undertaking any challenging endeavor while avoiding burnout. Its strategic advice empowers people to sustain progress on meaningful goals that require perseverance through ups and downs. At its heart, the quote insightfully recognizes the human benefits of purposeful rest amidst struggle.


The inspirational quote “When you get tired, learn to rest not to quit” powerfully advocates resilience, healthier coping and sustained effort. Despite unclear origins, its memorable message has resonated across languages and cultures, offering timeless wisdom. The quote acknowledges inevitable fatigue yet provides constructive guidance to maintain motivation.

By learning to rest—not impulsively quit—anyone can better achieve long-term goals requiring perseverance through adversity. This advice applies universally, to athletes, entrepreneurs, students or anyone undertaking demanding work over time. Though simple, the quote offers profound insight through its pragmatic yet idealistic lens. It inspires people to believe they can accomplish great things, as long as they care for themselves by resting meaningfully along the way.

Internalizing this quote’s strategic philosophy can empower progress and growth in life’s most rewarding yet difficult endeavors. It offers an uplifting but realistic way to sustain effort over years or decades. Through good times and bad, the core message remains: when you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit.