Our world is dedicated to the finishers.
We love them, those people who see everything through to the end. We put them on pedestals, idolize them, turn them into case studies.
Yet, I think that we adore finishers so much that we’ve forgotten how to quit things. And that’s a skill that we desperately need.
Finishing things is great, and being a finisher is a needed quality. But can we be self-aware enough to admit that not everything we take on deserves to be finished? That we often pick up things that deserve to be put down?
If you pick up a book and it’s AWFUL, devoid of substantial benefit in your life, should you really waste the time it takes to finish it? (Let’s remember that a title being referred to as a ‘classic’ realistically means it’s just been around for a while, not that there’s any good reason to read it.)
If you’re listening to a band and they suck, why finish their album?
This doesn’t only apply to the trivial things. If you’re trying to get a startup off the ground and the breakthrough never seems to come (while you and your family are being made miserable in the process), it is OKAY to end the process.
If you’re in a serious relationship or engaged, you shouldn’t have to feel like you need to ‘see things through’ if there’s clearly something not working. It’s OKAY to let things end between the two of you.
We are so afraid of being failures that we resist setting anything aside, even when that very resistance will cause us to inevitably fail anyway. We drive ourselves to the point of injury, insanity, or indignity by refusing to believe it’s okay to end things before reaching a finish line.
Friends, if you needed someone to give you permission, consider this to be it. It is OKAY to stop going to that workout class that makes you miserable and find something else you like. It is OKAY to quit reading that book that you dread picking up. It is OKAY to walk away from the boyfriend, the best friend, the business partner that treats you like dirt.
We all are taught how to finish. Let’s learn how to quit as well.