Always finish what you start?

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Our teachers and parents told us to finish what we started. They said we would never realize our full potential if we leave things undone, or we were making things harder on ourselves because we’ll have to finish it later.

Do it now and get it over with, they said. Touch things once. Leaving things undone is stressful and distracting.

Yes, but what if we don’t want to finish?

You don’t have to finish reading a book you’re not enjoying. You can abandon projects that aren’t going anywhere. You can end relationships that don’t serve you.

In fact, I think our default setting should be to NOT finish what we start.

Make the project or person prove themselves to us.

If that book doesn’t grab you after one or two chapters, off with it’s head. If you have a friend who is always negative, maybe it’s time to end the relationship.

Not finishing things gives you more time to do other things.

So, let go of that hobby you no longer enjoy. You’ll have time to find a new one. Let go of the client who makes your life difficult. You’ll make room for others.

But here’s the thing.

When you let go, you really have to let go.

Burn your ships. Destroy your notes. Tell yourself you’re truly done and you’re not going back.

Because if you don’t, your subconscious mind will nag you and remind you that you have unfinished business. It’s called the Zeigarnik effect.

And yes, that voice in your head will probably sound like your mom telling you to finish your veggies.

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