Today I watched an interview with Arianna Huffington about her new book Thrive, and as you would expect it was chock full of wisdom, and insight. She had so many great thoughts but one in particular stood out for me. One that has me thinking hours later, fills me with a little fear and makes me wonder if it could possibly be right. Completing projects, Arianna says, can be done by dropping them. Yes, that’s right, dropping a project is one way of completing it.
Cue the fire alarms, whoop whooping at my brain.
Quit something- can she be kidding? Could Arianna Huffington have it wrong? Is that even possible?
She shares a story about how she had a number of goals for many years- learn to cook, ski and become fluent in German until one day she realized it was never going to happen. So she dropped them –and just like that- they were considered complete.
Now as someone hanging on for dear life to the final year of a Masters I’m no longer interested in or care for, the idea of dropping a long term goal fills me with an anxiety I cannot comprehend. I’m still hanging on to the regret that I feel towards my last attempt at completing a Masters 15 years ago. That certainly doesn’t feel complete to me. If I start a movie, no matter how bad, I am compelled to finish it. Books, thankfully, I am prepared to leave unfinished, although this left me with incredible guilt for many years.
But could she be right? It’s certainly worth considering as an idea. I wonder? I wonder if there is a way to quit something and feel complete. Perhaps it begins by being more deliberate, and intentional- instead of viewing a decision as quitting, to understand that it is, instead recognizing that the goal or project is no longer of value to you. Because surely, if it is no longer of value to you, then dropping it is the wisest, kindest thing you could do for yourself. Perhaps it is wise to examine your goals and dreams regularly to see that they are still important to you, rather than trudging on, head down towards them. To say to yourself “Yes, I feel complete, this goal no longer matters to me”. To be clear on why you are chasing a dream, its worth to you.
Maybe, though I’m no longer interested in completing my Masters, I will complete it. Not because I don’t want to quit, but because having a Masters is something that is still of value to me. Because the satisfaction and pride in completing it are something that I truly value.
Or maybe Arianna is just wrong? Truthfully, I’m not sure, still much to be mulled over for me. What do you think? Is dropping a project a way of completing it? Help a poor girl out! But let me leave you with a quote from my friend, who summed it up so beautifully for me “Don’t be conflicted- you’ll know whats worth taking to the end… or not.”
Yours in contemplation,
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