To the Inner Game Class of 2012: Stop Jerking Around
I was dreading my sister’s college graduation. Don’t get me wrong. I’m proud of her for making it through four years of school (something I suffered through and don’t know how I managed to complete). It’s just the idea of two and a half hours of coma-inducing speeches from stuffy professors that had me wishing she had just graduated from preschool instead.
While I did have to sit through a half-hour speech from one particularly grating class president (really, you’re going to cry every 30 seconds?) I was pleasantly surprised to hear some professor/dean of the department of whatever talk about the importance of finishing what you’ve started. This age-old adage applies to both recent grads as well as those of us who haven’t drunk shitty beer out of red plastic cup in several years.
You know that friend of yours that can never seem to finish anything? The one that talks a big talk, but still lives in his mom’s basement and is always “nearly finished” with that groundbreaking novel of his? The one that finds a new interest every week, whether it be playing guitar or cooking, but never actually follows through and learns how to shred or scramble eggs? What do you and your friends think of this guy? Is he respected or ridiculed? Is he someone you look up to? Probably not, huh?
The lack of being able to actually finish what one starts screams laziness and low self-confidence. The ability to follow through and pursue a goal to fruition is the mark of a confident, go-getting guy. No goal worth pursuing is going to be easy. Whether you’re goal is to run a marathon or open your town’s first adult book store, it’s going to take hard work and persistence to get there. Giving up at the first sign of failure shows that you’re unable to deal with setbacks, that you’ve got no backbone. It shows that you have no confidence in your abilities if you don’t actually accomplish what you set out to do.
Sure, some goals are loftier than others and might not be achieved no matter how hard you try. Say, for example, you goal was to score a number 1 hit on the Billboard chart. Being that there’s a bajillion artists out there and the radio plays about two new songs every six months, your chances of actually accomplishing this are close to one. The confident man, however, pursues his goals no matter how bad the odds. If it doesn’t work out, he doesn’t give up. Even if he never makes it on the radio, if he continues to play music and follow his passion, he’s anything but a failure.
If you want others to respect you and, more importantly, if you want to respect yourself, finish what you start. Don’t be a quitter or a flake. There are plenty of those out there already. It’s not too late to finish what you’ve started, even if that means fulfilling your goal from age 10 to be a real Ghostbuster. Just prepare for odd looks from friends and family.
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About John Brhel John Brhel is a freelance writer from upstate New York that enjoys picking apart life's idiosyncrasies and listening to Huey Lewis & the News.