I grew up in a house that was in a permanent state of renovations. My Dad had the idea when I was 7 years old and went to work digging and hammering and plastering this creation. There was a whole second floor that was going to have bedrooms and a play room which later was re-labeled the ‘teenage hangout’ that we never did hang out in.
Then there was the boat that sat next to the house that only needed some minor repairs to be sea worthy. The only water that boat ever saw was the rain. Also there was the vintage aeroplane in the shed with its wings off and engine out. With all the unfinished architraves and patchy Gyprock and veranda beams without boards, is it any wonder that I have a passion for decluttering, organising, styling and coaching people across the finish line of their creations.
There is something so powerful about completion that can feel fulfilling and deeply satisfying. However, so many people have conflicting emotions about it. They think that they want to finish something and then they notice thoughts like ‘what if this does not get me what I want? What will I do once this is finished? Will people notice or judge my work?’
They avoid completing and then they never receive the fruits of their creativity, imagination and work, nor do they want the acknowledgement or judgment of others. Finishing something to move into something else can also lead to anticipatory anxiety, like a loss or a fear of what comes after. Completion is a big Yes that some people just cannot accept. So they get in their own way.
What is comfortable may not be what is for the highest good. People can often feel comfortable with something that they tolerated and got used to. Like a rock in your shoes that you just put up with. The idea of having a beautiful relationship or making great money can be so foreign, that they will reverse create by staying stuck in the process or the perpetual building of it and not in the having and enjoying of it.
When was the last time you acknowledged yourself; sincerely gave yourself a pat on the back for your achieved goals, your steps along the road? Your ability to acknowledge where you are along the way is a powerful way to build momentum and speed towards an outcome.
When I take a very long road trip it can feel drawn out and never ending. I love it when I see the sign posts along the way that let me know that my destination is only so many kilometres away. It brings me renewed vitality and I start to envision what is at the end of the journey. The landscape begins to change and the smell in the air may change and I become excited knowing I am nearly there. That anticipation builds and if you notice closely it can feel like time is speeding to arrive more quickly.
Getting stuck in the process
For everything you want to bring to fruition, there is always action to take to move towards having it in the world. Action is distinctly different from doing though. To do lists and creating systems and processes can in fact be a tactic to move you further away from your goal. If you’ve never done it, how will you know all the steps you need to take to achieve it? Most of the time you don’t as each goal is unique to the person aiming for it. So instead of sitting down to work out all the steps you think you need before you commence, just work out the next step and then begin. Each step will rise to meet you along the path as it is needed. So the best plan is to start.
Moving the goal posts
If you are creating a work of art, a business, or writing a report, at what point is it complete? People move the goal posts all the time as a way to avoid completion and the satisfaction or attainment of an outcome, even if that outcome is a milestone of a much larger goal. Since it is always possible to add more of this or that, or change it a bit here or there, when do you know you’re finished? When does it satisfy your end vision? By having a vision of the outcome and judging the work as meeting the vision.
Completion/finishing/achieving is an essential part of goal setting and vision creating. So when you fall in love with an idea that you want to bring into the world, take the time to focus on the end vision more than you focus on the process of getting there. Remember to acknowledge your result when you arrive. Completion builds momentum, making future goals easier to achieve and builds evidence of your capacity as a powerful creator. It doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy the journey along the way. It means you will know when you have arrived at your destination. The personal satisfaction is great.
Footnote: I can happily report that my Dad has fully rebuilt and restored his vintage aeroplane diligently over the past 30 years and it is now ready for its maiden flight in a couple of weeks. I am so inspired by him.