Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Worship of Incompleteness

Turn on the television for five minutes, and you’ll observe the barrage of celebrity divorces, canceled programming, corporate failures, broken systems, massive layoffs, abandoned projects, public resignations and product recalls.


Because our society worships incompleteness.

First, because we’re not finishers. That’s too much pressure. We’d rather have ideas than actually execute them. We’d rather talk a big game than actually play one. Otherwise we might actually have to take personal responsibility for our work.

Second, because we’re terrified of our potential. That’s too much power. We’d rather fail because it’s familiar. We’d rather dream from a distance because it’s safer. Otherwise we might actually get what we want.

Third, because we’re allergic to commitment. That’s too much work. We’d rather kneel at the altar of choice than actually make a decision. We’d rather stay as loyal as our options. Otherwise we might actually have to stick with something.

Fourth, because we’re delighted by the misfortune of others. That’s too much fun. We’d rather watch you go down in flames than light a match of our own. We’d rather distract ourselves with your misery than confront our reality. Otherwise we might actually have to change.

Fifth, because we’re seeking permission to quit. That’s too much proof. We’d rather use your failures as water for our fire, not wood. We’d rather use your story as a reason to stop, not a spur to begin. Otherwise we might actually have to persist. 

Sixth, because we’re scared of being evaluated. That’s too much judgment. We’d rather keep things in beta form, always ready to be fixed. We’d rather not submit our work to the world. Otherwise we open ourselves to the risk of being rejected. 

Seventh, because we’re anxious about inaction. That’s too much stillness. We’d rather delay the loss that comes with completion than confront the prospect of starting something new. Otherwise we might take a whiff of meaninglessness in the space between. 

Eighth, because we’re manic about standby. That’s too much waiting. We’d rather keep working on a project than hand it in. We’d rather stay busy than sit in limbo, waiting for the dice to roll. Otherwise we might find that the marketplace doesn’t care.  

The exciting part is, in a society that worships incompleteness, the people who do commit, the people who do carry their work to execution, are the ones that inspire us forever.

To be one of those people, all we have to do is finish.

Not perfect, just finish.

What do you badly need to make complete?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
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