Is Anything Worth Starting Worth Finishing?

I was totally going to go with another topic as of late, but I realized that my last two topics have been increasingly synical and sarchastic. If I’m not careful, I’m going to end up like the guy Lewis Black portrays in those Aruba commercials. So in the interest of keeping positive, I’m going to touch on something a bit stronger, and it goes along with the recent theme of the conclusion of the recent Winter Olympic games.

If you’ve watched any of the games over the last two weeks (and gotten into it at all), you’ve seen victory and heartache all alike. Depending on who you were rooting for, you may have felt that same victory or heartache when your team or olympian succeeded or failed. In the moment, you’re not thinking about the opening ceremony. And why should you after all, that was a couple weeks ago, wasn’t it? And that was only a mere starting point for the actual games going on.

Ah, but if you recall the opening ceremony, you would know that there were hundreds of olympians, all vying for the same thing: Olympic Medals.

Yes, that’s right hundreds. Do you really think that every single person in there thought they were going to medal? Of course you didn’t, because you’re smart like that, and one step ahead of me as I presumed. Every one of those Oympians hoped they would win a medal, but many of them knew that a lot could go wrong, and with any competition, nothing is guaranteed.

I had the fortunate opportunity of watching most of the ice skating (like most other men, because my wife was watching it). Now normally this sort of thing bores me to tears, but as time went on I started to notice that completing these routines flawlessly was horribly difficult, and a few times people would fall on their butts trying to pull them off. If you know anything about figure skating, if you fall, you might as well just walk off the ice, because there is practically no way you’re going to get enough points to medal. You might, but its not likely. Yet, despite all this, those who fell kept skating, and continued their routine till completion.

Let’s take this a step further and about Joannie Rochette, the Canadian figure skater who’s mother passed away suddenly over the course of the games. Now I’ve worked with people who have lost loved ones, and if you’ve lost a loved one youreself, you know how difficult it can be, and how the mourning process seeps its way into every part of your life. Despite this, she found the strength and courage to press on toward the goal that she and her mother worked so hard for. She pressed on despite adversity, and got a bronze medal to show for it.

Then there are times when pressing forward doesn’t make much sense. My wife shared with me a story about how she worked for 200 hours on a self portrait for a college art class. The more she worked, the worse it got. After some thought and contemplation, she decided to start over. She finished the project in 2 hours, and got an “A”.

So what am I trying to say here? Well, some things are worth setting out to do, and some aren’t. My opinion is that if you can persevere, you should. If you don’t, that’s fine, its your life, but there is always going to be an easy way out. Maybe your approach is wrong, and all you need to do is tweak it a bit. My understanding is that no one accomplishes anything great without some level of sacrifice.

Its one thing to feel great, its another to do something great. This is actually going to be my topic for next week. In the meantime, your thoughts! Talk to me people.