Things I'll Say Along the Way: Finish Well

In my “Things I’ll Say” series, I share a few values I intend to pass along to my son–whenever the right moment arises.

Finish Well.

These were my Dad’s two favourite words of advice. If he had more than two to give, a related lesson was, “don’t start something you can’t finish!” To be fair, that was usually when I tried to wrestle him. (Even when I was a teenager, he had such a unfairly low centre of gravity.)

I want my son to learn this lesson, too. There is a value in finishing things just because you started them. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever stop anything, and it doesn’t mean you’re a failure if you need to quit. 

But it does mean you’re going to care as much about the followthrough as you did about your explosive opening strike.

So many people are good beginners, but far too few know how to finish things. They leave relationships in the middle of unresolved tension, and they quit projects and books without the patience to see them through to a satisfying completion. 

The tragedy of not finishing things is you never have the reward of resolve. Eventually, you become addicted to new beginnings because things always get difficult in the middle.

You always start with passion, and you always end with discipline.

So make up your mind to finish well. If you’re going to fail, then fail well. If the team is behind and there’s no hope for a comeback, then lose well. Giving up only robs you of the wisdom waiting for you at the finish line.

(And, in order to feel some of this satisfaction myself, I’ve decided this article is finished.)