Begin well, continue well, and end well.
Have you ever started something, like putting an initiative into practice and halfway through losing courage? During those times it looks like all hope are lost and purpose seems to lurk. What happened to the new year resolution? The year has just started but it seems like everything is going wrong already or you’re just losing yourself without clear objectives?
Do you fall into any of the above categories? I’m here to reassure you that it’s going to be fine and you’re not alone. No one has it all planned or set up. It happens to all of us. We can start with God but lose sight of him or lose faith on the way. It is very helpful for us every so often to stop and have a time out. As Socrates reminded us: “An unexamined life is not worth living.” We need to reflect on the steps that we have taken, to see where we are and take stock in a way. In this way, when challenges come we can be more clear of which direction we are going in.
Entering into situations, it can be helpful to live with intentionality as opposed to just doing what I always might do, called “habituation.” Then afterwards, we can review our progress and see what needs to be done to correct it. Perhaps many are used to doing this in their business or professional life but often do not put it into practice in their personal lives. And so as we look at our responsibility, keep in mind that we are enabled to fulfil that responsibility only by the grace of God.
Now the grace of God is often misunderstood. I think one of the most common misunderstandings of the grace of God is, “God’s cutting me some slack. Grace is God’s letting me get away with a few things.” That’s the furthest thought from the grace of God. It is more than just God’s kindness and benevolent feeling toward us. The grace of God is dynamic. The grace of God is God in action for our good.
Like the rest of us, many youths are going through hard times today and wondering whether they would ever amount to anything in life. A lot of young people in this country are very frustrated because of the lack of opportunities to improve their standard of living while growing economic difficulties. Although there is a general feeling of despondency in the land as never before, you do not have to lie down and die. The truth is, most successful people in any generation, in any nation, started on a very rough note. Everyone goes through low and high moments. You can hardly find a success story without its fair share of failures.
The key point I want you to grasp in this piece is that how you start should not discourage you; what matters is how you end. Finishing well is the hallmark of all success stories. The history books are replete with stories of people who rose from grass to grace and back to grass at the end of their lives. That is an anti-climax. Some folks were millionaires in their youth but died as paupers in old age. There were presidents of countries who ruled for decades but died by public execution or were toppled and jailed in old age. Some people made first class in the university but ended up living like third-class citizens all their lives. I am sure you do not want to be like any of those.
Therefore, starting well is not the issue, finishing well is by far the best option. It does not matter in sports what the scoreline is while the game is on. We only remember the match-winner when the game is over. Every so often, soccer teams come from one, two or three goals down to beat opposing teams. It is the finisher, not the starter, that the world applauds or remembers. Here is the gist, if you have an idea, find a way to implement it. There is hardly an ideal time to start. You would be lucky to be at the right place at the right time. Such perfect conditions are very rare. They don’t come often. For me, I can’t remember anything I achieved by luck. Very often, I created the environment that brought me success. I don’t believe in luck. I believe that when opportunity knocks, take your chances. Great strikers like Ronaldo, Messi, Suarez and their ilk convert half chances to score goals. No player gives a lethal striker like that an opportunity in front of his goal.
I want to challenge you to start building your empire today with little things that you lay your hands on. Every skyscraper started with a single block laid at the foundation stage. I am also still fighting to succeed. I believe I would finish strong. Yes, I can; yes, you can. It is great to start well if you are able. There is nothing wrong with starting very well, so long as you can sustain the tempo and not burn out before you get to your Promised Land. Finish whatever you start. Don’t give up.
Let us open our hearts and ask for the grace of perseverance —to begin well, to continue well and to end well. OK folks. Let’s do it again next month. Stay motivated!