Episode 118 Start Finishing

October 2, 2023

Good morning from New York City. The date of publication of today’s episode is Monday, October 2nd, 2023, and what’s on my mind today is that this is the perfect time to start finishing. Now the reason this popped into my mind is because I’ve been packing and gathering my things to go away for this extended stay of five months outside of my home. Push came to shove, and I started saying to my friends on the phone ‘yep, it’s time to start finishing. ‘

The reason those two words came to my mind is that was actually the title of a book written by Albert Gilkey, an old pal of mine from the Good Life Project. I used to go to a summer camp for entrepreneurs in upstate New York. Albert is a friend of Jonathan Fields and he was a teacher at camp He wrote a book by that title. So start finishing was, in my case, provoked by the circumstances. My back was against the wall. I needed to get ready to leave and I needed to start finishing.

I think it’s also a good metaphor for this last quarter of the year. To think about it, as it relates to the year coming to a close, your back doesn’t have to be against the wall. It can be something you’re thinking about over these next months.  Like what do you want to let go of? It can be anything from that stack of books that you’re not going to read sitting on your nightstand that makes you feel bad, to something on your to do list that just never gets struck off.   Maybe it’s not as important as you thought it was and it’s time to let it go. That can also be a way to start finishing the year – letting go of old ideas you had, or goals and commitments you thought you wanted to make but evidently weren’t so important. Time to let them go.

Generally speaking, for me this idea of ‘start finishing’ is really about making space for what’s next. It’s an energetic thing. It can also be physical – letting go of certain items, cleaning out your closet, getting rid of clothes that you’re not going to wear anymore to make space in your closet.

I think it’s also a good time to look back on the year. You don’t have to wait until the end of the year. Start looking back now. I did that the other day. I was looking at my notebook and I realized so many of the things that I wrote for myself in January of this year I had accomplished or kept front of mind, and they had helped move me forward.

I think it is critically important to stop for a moment and to look at what you’ve done, how far you’ve come, and I say that also to myself.  I’m always looking towards what’s next and its good to look at moments of courage. I think I spoke recently about my own moments of courage, things that I’ve done in my past that I can look back on that reinforce the courage that I need to move forward right now. I actually surprised myself when I took the time to look back on some of the things I’ve done.

I guess what I want to say is take stock. Look at where you are. Look at what you can start finishing to end the year in a way that feels good. What can you let go of? What is important that you haven’t gotten to just yet? -There is still time. Maybe you need to make a contribution to your IRA account. Perhaps you need to make some doctor’s appointments, or finally make that call to write up your will. I don’t know. We all have things. It’s a really good time here during these first days of October to take stock and to look at what you’ve accomplished and to decide what it is that’s important to finish this year.

I think it’s difficult to make room for what’s next  –  or think about your hopes and dreams and goals for the next year – when you have unfinished business. And as I said before, to start finishing can also mean to start crossing things off your list that you’re never going to get to. Just let it go. It all comes down to making room for what’s next.

I want to steal like an artist from a quote that I recently published which was something like “be on the lookout for who you haven’t yet become.” I would say this: “start finishing and make room for the person. that you want to be in 2024.” It’s a perfect time to start finishing.

I’ll leave you with that for now. Until next time, from my heart to yours.

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Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

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