Finish strong

The phrase “finish strong” has relevance and meaning in so many different areas of life.  Whether we are talking about the end of a workday, the completion of a task, the fourth quarter of a game, or the end of a race, the difference in reaching our objective and falling short will oftentimes depend on how we finish.  For many of us, we are highly motivated at the beginning of the day, a new opportunity, or a new challenge.  However, as we progress through the endeavor, our focus and energy level will often fade.  By the time we get to the end of the day or the challenge, we often find ourselves just limping our way to the end.  We don’t finish with the energy and effort that we started with in the beginning.

The reasons for the effort and energy to fade can be tied to fatigue, loss of focus, or just loss of a clear vision of the original objective.  Many of us start projects with great ambition, but get sidetracked at some point and lose interest.  The ability to finish what we start is a challenge for many reasons.  This factor plays out every day in the workplace, on athletic fields or courts, and in various facets of life in general.  

The concept of finishing strong is potentially a difference maker for so many of us because so many struggle with it.  A worker’s willingness and ability to provide a complete day with focus and effort through the entire work period will not only be meaningful to the organization, but will likely generate promotional opportunities for the individual.  Athletes and teams that compete through the end of the fourth quarter or late innings will put themselves in a position to win more times than not.  Individuals that push through fatigue,  challenges, and distractions will experience the satisfaction of a completed project or an objective achieved.  

The concept of finishing strong also comes into play as we progress through the various stages of life.  For those like me who are either approaching or currently living in the “fourth quarter” of life, the challenge of finishing strong is something to consider.  After years of grinding through a job, raising a family, or overcoming challenges, an individual can find it is easy to look forward to more relaxation, less stress, and more self-absorbed focus.  While slowing down and enjoying the “fourth quarter” should be a desire for all of us, making the most of this period should also be a focus.  Those of us with years of experience, knowledge, and wisdom have so much to share and provide to the younger generations.  

For me, making the most of each day and adding value to others is the goal each morning.  I don’t know that I am successful each day, but I do want to finish strong and make the fourth quarter my most impactful period of life.  I may be getting a little head start on that quarter (dependent on how we define the fourth quarter of life), but the focus remains in place.

Whatever stage of life you are in, consider how you are finishing.  How are you finishing each workday?  How are you finishing assignments, projects, and objectives?  How are you finishing your workouts, your races, and your commitments to others?  Are you finishing in a manner that you can look back on and feel satisfied with your contribution?  For me, to hear one day “Well done” would be the ultimate validation.  I’m going to strive to finish strong.  How about you?