Do You Finish What You Start? Does It Matter?

Christi Hegstad October 3rd, 2013

“It may be exhausting, but that’s beside the point. The goal is to be the kind of person who has ideas and sees them through.”

~ Esme Raji Codell


I love the book Educating Esme, from which the above quote comes. It’s the true story of a teacher who, against seemingly insurmountable odds, pursues her passion for teaching and positively impacts some very challenged and troubled young lives. Hers is a story of never giving up, even when “exhausting” wasn’t a strong enough word. It’s a terrific book about making commitments and following through on them.

Are you the kind of person that sees things through?

Do you finish what you start?

Much of my career and executive coaching work starts with clients decluttering in some form – often the physical “stuff” that depletes one’s energy before you even begin your project (or your day, for that matter).

Just as important as clearing away the excess is determining what’s causing it in the first place. For me, and for many of my clients, the culprit is quite clear: unfinished business.

Consider your workspace or home for a moment. Do you have piles of papers representing incomplete work projects?

Stacks of books on your nightstand that, someday, you intend to read?

Lists 10 pages long because within minutes of starting one project, you switch gears and move on to the next?

Passion, as glorious as it is, can also lead to frustration and even heartbreak if you continually start pursuing it but never follow through to some form of completion. Piles that indicate chaos, incompleteness, or passion gone awry can quickly – but sneakily – lead one to feeling scattered and unfocused.

You can start to eliminate those disruptive feelings by eliminating their source. Choose one incomplete project that’s taking up space (physical, mental, or both), and decide to either do it, delegate it, or delete it. Make the commitment to one of those three options, then follow through.

Even if you’re not particularly passionate about cleaning or organizing, let your passion for becoming a “person who has ideas and sees them through” carry you forward!

We’d love to hear your thoughts! Share them below, on Facebook, or via Twitter.

Dr. Christi Hegstad helps you successfully do what you love! As President of MAP Professional Development Inc., she coaches professionals to get unstuck and reach Bold Goals with clarity, confidence, and meaningful action. Learn more at and follow Dr. Christi on Facebook and Twitter.

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