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Finishing: Be First or Last… But Finish

The Raleigh Elite host the Carolina Dynamo in a PDL match at SAS Soccer Park in Cary, NC on Wednesday, May 31, 2006.  The Dynamo won the match 5-1 on 2 goals from Darryl Roberts and 1 a piece from Ben Hunter, Randi Patterson, and Jamie Franks.  Be...

“You have to finish things … you learn by finishing things.” Neil Gaiman

When I think of all the projects I have started and never finished… it’s a little embarrassing. There was a point in my life when I tried a lot of different creative endeavors; basket weaving (really, really hard), Ukrainian eye dying (maddening), calligraphy (oh brother), etc. I do crochet and want to learn to quilt, so I have big bags of yarn and fabric. Someday, I am going to create a lot of great stuff. (wink, wink). I like to start things, sometimes I fall apart when it comes to finishing. Am I alone in that or are you the same?

When I read the above quote… it caused me to stop and think. Do we really learn from starting things or finishing things or both? Think about the last project you started at home. Did you finish it? Think of a really big project you started at your current or past job. I assume the project was broken down into smaller pieces. Did you celebrate a little when each step was completed?

There may be limited benefit to debating the starting/finishing question, but my guess is that a few minutes contemplating both might lead to some personal insights. What causes me to procrastinate? What causes me to abandon something before it’s done? I’m not lazy; I accomplish a lot everyday.

Think about specific projects. Share your thoughts with someone and then decide to take one action.

Photo credit: wjarrettc  photo

2 Responses
  • Carl Hoffman
    October 31, 2013


    You rang my bell today. I somehow consider myself in the middle of everything. The reason is I am in the twilight years of my 40 year career. My recent painting experience it teaching me that how you finish determines quality. I spent more time on a few details of a painting and it sold at asking price to the first person who looked at it.

    However, my garage is littered with tools from past hobbies. I have given up on a video based business because who wants to see a serious-minded bald 62 year old man? Getting a book published, besides using vanity press, is not as lucrative as people think.

    I am a rational-minded public speaker that applies life lessons based on biblical stories. Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book is a excellent example of my methodology. Today we live in a world of extremes and I travel a middle road. I just hope I end my career well.


  • Deborah
    November 2, 2013

    Carl, You rock. We’re on the snow on the roof (gray hair) side of our careers and we are still engaged and eager to learn. Good for us. I say what’s important is progress not perfection! As always, thanks for inspiring me.

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