Whether or not you know it, you’re really good at beginnings.
You were born.
You began school every fall.
You begin a new year every January.
You begin a new relationship every time you meet someone.
You begin a new chapter with every transition.
You’re good at beginnings because they simply occur over time.
But there’s a difference between beginning and starting.
Beginnings happen because of the forces around you.
Starting happens because of the longings within you.
You start something when you feel a pain, see a need, or stumble upon an opportunity. You start a new habit, business, program, action, function, or process.
And whereas beginnings lead to endings, you start something because you want to finish it. And you want to finish in a better place than where you started.
Naturally, you’re not quite as good at starts as you are at beginnings. Starting is harder. It requires intention, community, courage, and a small dose of naiveté.
But starting isn’t as difficult as finishing. Most people have a hard time getting there. Sure, they may end…but to finish is to arrive somewhere you intended. Even if it’s not pretty, it’s powerful. It requires regular reflection, a community, and planning to make sure you’re on the right track.
Unlike beginning and ending, you’ll know when you finish what you’ve started. You will have learned, grown, moved, or changed something.
Because finishing is your doing.
Ending is just time’s doing.
So, are you beginning and ending? Or are you starting and finishing?
PS: This Fall, we’re inviting college students everywhere to not just begin another semester, but to start taking their learning into their own hands through work/study opportunities around the world. Applications for Ei’s new 15-credit Leap Semester program are now open.
Apply here: www.leapsemester.com
Nominate a student here: www.leapsemester.com/nominate.