We’ve made it thru a tremendous amount of work. We have beat back all the temptations not to do our work or to continue our work and we have arrived, at the finish line at last. The finish line can be any big project, finally completed.
Ah, the joys of having done it. Time to celebrate. Time to catch our breath after this big accomplishment. Time to let in the little inner demon who tricks us never to do anything big again.
Standing around every significant finish line is our inner demon who says:
-“Quit now and you go out on top of your game.”
-“Quit now, you’ve done your part.”
-“Quit now, you’ve done ten years, 20 projects, this is your __ birthday, or some other milestone date or quantity.”
-“Quit now, you don’t want to repeat yourself.”
These are very common statements we hear all around us. Something we’ve heard in movies, literature or myth and it feels like we have reached a time to quit because it feels like a point of power. It is powerful. Hitting 100 podcasts, the writer-producer of these shows as me if it made sense to quit doing his very successful show because he hit that milestone. He didn’t ask me that when he was at his 87th show or probably he would not mention it right after he put show 123 in the can. That magical 100 is a powerful place to be. It is so inviting: “Hey, I pumped out 100 shows before I stopped my show.”
The Charming Poetry of the Finishing-Line Demon
We can be tempted to quit something because it is so damn poetic, so going out with drama, the thought of missing that moment is painful. Perfect mythic moments don’t come around every day or after some uninspiring number of projects completed.
It feels so cool, so right, I’m going to walk out the door and never look back is a great thing to visualize. Movies are filled with this stuff.
Pushing Back on the Quit Now Moment
-Pull back from the drama you can feel at this moment. Visualize it being anything but a magical, mythical moment.
-See it like any other finish line.
-Remember that the Finishing Line Demon is around you, tempting you, dazzling you with the poetry of quitting.
-Make a list of reasons of why you don’t need to quit at that finish line. What would prevent you from working towards another?
-Ask some friends about what they think, should you quit now or should you go on longer?
-Make a list of alternative finishing lines you can shoot for that use most of the skills you have been using to get to where you are. Make them real with real ideas of how and when they can be started. It is so easy to quit with vague plans of what we are going to do next and our skills fade because we wait too long to get down to them.
If you do decide to quit after all, at least, using the steps here, you were free of the Finishing Line Demon’s spell, and it is your true decision. Your decision should be your own, not the demon’s