Peter Pickering - Words and Worlds Interwoven

Throughout my business career, the poem "Don't Quit" was more than just words on paper— given to me by my business partner, Alan McKenzie, in our days of high finance, it was an anchor, prominently displayed on a plaque on my desk, guiding me through the undulating terrain of success and setback. This poem wasn't just decorative; it embodied a philosophy that permeated every layer of my professional life. Despite numerous successes, I faced an equal measure of challenges, each one a rigorous test of my resolve.

At the time, my understanding of myself did not include the terms neurodiversity, bipolar, ADHD, or ASD—these were revelations that came much later in life. Back then, the poem served purely as a motivational tool, a means to fortify my spirit against the trials of entrepreneurship. It spoke to the universal struggle against adversity, urging perseverance even when the path seemed endlessly uphill.

"For when things go wrong, as they sometimes will, when the road you’re trudging seems all uphill," the poem begins, capturing the essence of those moments when every effort felt Sisyphean, every failure a weight upon my shoulders. Yet, the words offered solace and strength, teaching me that setbacks were not endpoints but bends in the road, concealing victories yet to be won.

"Success is failure turned inside out—the silver tint of the clouds of doubt," became a mantra for viewing obstacles through a lens of potential, not peril. This perspective was crucial; it helped me navigate through uncertainties and maintain momentum, regardless of the clarity of the path ahead.

Today, with a deeper understanding of my own neurodiversity, these words take on new layers of meaning. They resonate not just as calls to persistence but as affirmations of the unique ways my mind approaches challenges and opportunities. Though I was unaware at the time, the principles of balance, endurance, and resilience outlined in the poem align remarkably well with the strategies I now employ consciously to manage the characteristics of bipolar, ADHD, and ASD.

This poem has evolved from a motivational staple to a profound reflection of my journey through both business and personal discovery. It underscores the importance of perseverance, not only as a general approach to life's challenges but also as a crucial strategy in navigating the complexities of neurodiversity. Let it remind anyone who journeys through similar landscapes that often, "It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit." Embrace these words as more than a motto; see them as a guiding principle for tackling life's trials, armed with the knowledge that every step, every setback, is part of a larger mosaic of growth and understanding.

don't quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit—
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is strange with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure comes about
When he might have won if he’d stuck it out;
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

The road to success