I have observed over time that many of us are eager to start new stuff especially when it looks exciting. But we are poor at ending things well. Most of our skeletons in the closet consist of abandoned and unresolved projects and relations aka baggage. We pay little or no attention to leaving situations or places tidily. My baby sharks remind me daily how tidying up needs divine intervention to do voluntarily. Their approach to life is always in forward drive mode. They are like a plane that has no reverse gear.
Speaking of planes, I have always wondered with all the technology in the world why they haven’t invented a reverse gear for planes. Anyhow When it comes to cleaning up my kids suffer instant amnesia. Parenting requires tonnes of reminding. Maybe even the other word for a parent should be a reminder especially when our kids are young. But then again I extend some grace as the fruits didn’t fall far from the tree hehe.
It may not be that we are poor at ending well, it may just be that we pay little attention if any when leaving a place or season. That could be why landlords ask for a month or two deposit when getting a new tenant. Because when leaving some just take off and leave the house looking like a war zone. The owner then has to fix the house to be habitable again. That’s where the deposit comes in. I even know of cases where tenants move out at night and escape like fugitives.
I was motivated to read the book, Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud when I decided to finally take action in exiting my business. I was excited to be closing a twenty-year chapter of my life but sad that the business couldn’t continue without me. My coach challenged me to be more proactive in the exit process. He flipped my mind upside down by suggesting that maybe my next gig manifesting fully is dependent on how I exit my current station in life.
It seems generally easier for the human race to start things and much harder to sustain them to completion. we know of many businesses and projects that were launched with pomp and colour just for them to stall midway turning into white elephants. Why are incomplete projects called white elephants by the way? could it be that the high mortality rate of our goals is related to the unfinished business we leave behind? I’m increasingly learning that how we finish is equally (if not more) important to how we start. That theory is supported by the game of golf. The professionals tell us that how we finish is more important than how we start. Well, that truth holds across many sporting disciplines so no argument there.
Whenever I finish a round of golf well, it is most evident in the last one or two holes. Maybe my motivation is the clubhouse that comes into sight where I will be enjoying my drink when done. I also get the psyche to return when I finish well despite the abuse I went through the previous fifteen or sixteen holes. Golf is truly an abusive relationship for me and yet I keep going back for more hehe.
From my experience so far in exiting my business, I’m noticing that the more I tidy up my departure the more my space opens up for new engagements. Holding onto our past may provide a sense of false comfort. It bogs us down and prevents us from exploring the unknown. Yes, it’s scary because we don’t know what lies ahead but I’d rather face the unknown future full of possibilities than join the group of those guys who when they talk it’s mostly about their glorious past. I’ve encountered folks like those and I don’t admire them because all they have to offer are outdated history lessons.
Planning our departure should be taken more seriously because it affects what we want to start next. I’ve never been in formal employment but I’ve heard my pals in corporate Kenya talk about exit interviews. I still wonder what that interview consists of. Is it about why one is leaving or where they are going? Either way, it seems important enough for companies to spend time and money on it.
We are encouraged to always quit at the top. Exit the stage when you are doing well. Quitting on a high. I tend to think that ending seasons well increases our chances of getting to the top in our next season of life. Let’s be more intentional in how we end the seasons of our lives. That way we enter our next assignment bila baggage from the past. Even the good book says that cleanliness is next to Godliness. Folks, what do you need to abandon to progress? Once you figure that out then plan how best to exit.