Archive for June 12, 2021

There is just something so special about finishing something you started. It’s especially fulfilling to see something you created come to fruition. Every time we do this, there is something in the world that would not have been here otherwise. This is something we really need to consider. There are times where it is easy to start something but then we hit a stuck point, and the creation languishes. These are the times when we must power through and finish. What an awesome thing it is to push past the hump and get it done.

One of the things that stops us from finishing is perfectionism. For creatives (especially), I believe perfectionism is the enemy. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe we should always strive to do our best work, but if the insistence on perfection keeps us from completing that which we started, what have we really accomplished. It’s far better to do the best work you can today, deliver your best creation and then improve on it as your skills improve. A finished work that’s not quite what you envisioned is better than something that remains incomplete, because you can’t reach an unattainable level. These things that are in our hearts and minds to create will literally never exist if we don’t step up and finish what we start.

Of course, to finish anything you first need to start it and while I know that it a “Captain Obvious” statement, I also know how many amazing things that came to mind that never got anywhere because for one reason or another I never started it. There have been a few things that have come out over the years that I looked at and said, “I had that idea years ago…” Big deal! Ideas are incredibly valuable, but if we don’t act on them—start them and finish them, they are completely completely worthless. I may have had the idea but someone else took action and brought it to market. Good on them. Maybe next time I’ll tell whatever limiting beliefs I have to take a hike and start.

Of course we can’t be doing a thousand things at once. We need to focus on a few things and finish them. The ideas we have in the midst of that processes should be recorded for when the current project is finished. I usually recommend having two to three projects going at once. This gives you something to jump to if you hit a block. Any more than that and you start to become a great starter and a lousy finisher, or at least that has been my experience.

One last thing, how do we know when something is finished? It’s finished when it ships—when it is released into the world and the audience sees it. Even then many creations are open to refinement, but there is nothing quite like the feeling of knowing you brought something into the world that didn’t previously exist. Once you’ve done that, pull out the next idea and do it again.