“It’s not how you start, but how you finish.”
Years ago I heard this saying, which I’m sure we have all heard. This is a pithy portion of wisdom that resonates and makes sense, on several levels. Sometimes we can get off to a great start, and yet have a less than stellar
finish. This is not a desirable outcome. Sometimes we launch out with energy and vitality and enthusiasm and full engagement, only to have the wind taken out of our sails before we cross the finish line. This is not a desirable outcome.
However, with some years, maturity, and hopefully wisdom, I have come to see that not only is finishing important, but so is starting. A healthy start is as important as a healthy finish. How you start and how you finish serve to balance each other. One is a ying, the other a yang. If only one is present, the rest will be incomplete.
Actually, there is a lot to be said for beginnings. How we begin things is crucial. We need to spend time perfecting the process before we pounce on the activity. The gestation period in the womb of our soul is crucial for winning and succeeding in life. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche said, “Everyone thinks that the principal thing to the tree is the fruit, but in point of fact the principal thing to it is the seed.” All of us long for the fruit… but the seed is the key. The entire purpose of a seed is simply to germinate life, given the right conditions. Within one seed is enough life to plant a forest, grow a farm, and feed a community. So here are a few key words for getting the seed, and the START right.
Motivation… To begin our beginning correctly, we need to pay attention to our motivation. If our motivation is unhealthy, selfish, or flowing from bitterness, chances are, it will not turn out well in the end. Healthy motivation leads to life, success, and positive energy. Unhealthy motivations lead to hurt, heartache and pain.
Visualization… Do you see yourself vibrantly achieving and succeeding in your goal, or do you feel the hints of failure, not finishing, and not achieving? I cannot overstate the importance of visualization. As Alberta Einstein said, “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” Before any major goal can be achieved, the goal must first become a reality in the subconscious mind. When we learn how to use the imagination, when we imagine a goal being achieved, so much that the feelings we have about the goal are the same as if the goal as already been achieved, then that goal becomes a reality. Your faith box and self-mirror determine your whole life: what you think, feel, experience and do; what you create, grow, build and dream. You are thinking, feeling, experiencing and doing what your faith-box contains and what your self-mirror shows. You are creating, growing, building and dreaming what your faith-box allows and what your self-mirror permits. Mahatma Ghandi said that “If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” Jesus said that “All things are possible to him that believes…”
Planning… Though our plans rarely go exactly, “according to plan”, success is seldom accidental. Planning positions you for success in a way that the complete lack of a plan never can. I personally believe that this is because in our planning, we engage ourselves at the level of the subconscious and at the level of our belief system, but also engage the conscious and the cognitive and the logical. This fusion of the subconscious mind and the conscious mind produces success! Plan it to achieve it!
Perseverance… Sticking it out, through obstacles and difficulties and even boredom. See, boredom is the path to greatness! Martin Parnell, the semi-retired mining engineer from Cochrane, Alberta, recently finished his quest to run 250 marathons in 2010! Can you imagine? 250 marathons in one year! Interestingly enough, when asked what the toughest part was of running all these marathons, he said it was combatting monotony. As Parnell said, running 250 marathons in 2010 was, “deadly boring”. Wow! Sometimes we quit, not because the mountain is too high or because the obstacles are too large, but because we are bored walking through the low parts. Stick it out!
Dream big this year, because those closest to you and the world around you need you to! But as you dream, ensure you start correctly, so that you can finish correctly.