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Yellowdog's avatar

What advice, pep-talk, or encouragement can you give to many of us who do not finish what we start, or give the extra 'umph' to perfect our work?

Asked by Yellowdog (12183points) August 28th, 2020

Homesteading land was available for free near Sydney, Australia—but I didn’t want to go through with it.

Ten years ago, heck, I had a BOOK CONTRACT with Thomas Nelson, but I never finished the work. ten years have passed.

I forfeited an advanced architectural degree because I hated calculus and a few other advanced math courses.

I forfeited a lot of things because I couldn’t discipline myself to become computer literate.

I have a Masters degree—one of two really good accomplishments—but never advanced to a doctorate or even sought teaching credentials because—it was too much effort.

I even sought learning a language recently but once I whetted my curiosity, I didn’t want to go through with it.

You may despise me, but I think I speak for a lot of people who just didn’t get there. Maybe we were too busy and couldn’t get started or find time. Maybe we just didn’t finish or take the effort to push ourselves through the finish line.

What’s your advice to people like me, and others like me, who could have ‘made it’ but don’t finish what we began, or put the effort in to perfect our work and ambitions?

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7 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

You are not lost if you don’t care where you are going. Author unknown.

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, you just have to take the fist step.” – Martin Luther King Jr

kritiper's avatar

Tell yourself, “I can do this!”

elbanditoroso's avatar

It’s internal. Nothing I can tell you will change your internal compass. Either you have the moxie /urge / impetus to do it yourself, or you don’t.

The only thing I can say is @Yellowdog – get your shit together. It’s all on you.

YARNLADY's avatar

There is absolutely nothing wrong with knowing your limits. You can strive to increase your influence, but why beat your head against a brick wall?

Jeruba's avatar

You were brave to post this question. It sounds like an effort to come to terms with a habit of self-defeat. I hope you can learn what you want to learn from asking it.

Here’s a timely piece I saw tonight in The Guardian that might help your thought process:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/aug/28/suffering-from-brain-mush-heres-how-to-get-things-done

I have trouble with the same sort of thing, thanks to a lifelong tendency to dream up projects that are far too big or complicated to be realistic and then getting discouraged when it becomes obvious that I’m never going to complete them. I have actually tackled plenty of things that came to a satisfactory conclusion and have taken pleasure in the sense of accomplishment. But there were always bigger ones that never came to fruition.

You’d think I’d have learned by now not to fall in love with overly ambitious ideas, but I still do it. The chilling reality, though, is that most of my time is behind me now, not ahead of me, and all I can do with some things is just let them go.

smudges's avatar

@Jeruba The chilling reality, though, is that most of my time is behind me now, not ahead of me, and all I can do with some things is just let them go.

What a poignant statement. Thank you for expressing my feelings so succinctly.

dabbler's avatar

Two things come to mind:
– Was that attractive idea really something you wanted? Or was it something you wanted to want but didn’t actually feel motivated to pursue? I.e. screen “what do I really want? Is this something I really really want?”

-Are you inspired to pursue the goal but overwhelmed by the magnitude of the goal?
The lost goals you mention are BIG ideas. Personally I find myself with a caught-in-the-headlights feeling when facing something like ‘write a book’ or ‘advanced architectural degree’. You have to face it at a level you can take action.
Break it down into workable increments that you can deal with.
Write a book:
– what’s the main point of the whole book?
– what does the table of contents look like?
– what are your reference sources if this is non-fiction? Do you have enough background or need more sources?
– For each chapter, what’s the point of the first paragraph? what’s the concluding paragraph look like?

That’s just my quick idea of how I would approach writing a book. I know that if I just considered ‘write a book’ then I’d have written as many books as I have (none).

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