As we start off the Chinese & Tibetan New Year, the old year has ended. Sounds Irish I know... And this makes me think of endings.
How things end will herald new beginnings. Sloppy, sulky, unpolished endings leave unfinished business, incomplete cycles and create obstacles to moving forward – in any field.
This may be in business – at the end of a partnership, job, project. In personal relationships – at a break up, separation, or end of friendship. In random encounters – at the completion of a building renovation, plumbing job, holiday retreat, checking out of a hotel. How these cycles are ended is very important. Especially if there was some sort of disatisfaction or dissent involved.
Because the end, is always what people remember. And more importantly, how you end one thing, determines what doors you are enabling to be opened for another.
You can have a fabulous secretary who spends every day of many months or years delivering excellent service, but then she suddenly runs off with the milkman without a word, leaving you in the lurch one Friday afternoon at month end. What will you remember?
You have a wonderful stay at a hotel, but when you check out, they argue about the special, miscalculate the bill, or are just plain rude. What will you remember?
You have a wonderful partner/lover/friend/job, but you decide you want to move on. How do you leave, so that what is remembered is the good times, so that years of excellence are not trashed by one single moment of conclusion? That is the question, because it's how you end things that matters, at the end of the day.
It's at the end that you score, complete the mile, win the prize, decide on the outcome of anything. It's good to reflect on this. You can prepare for something for months, even years, and then the result comes down to a few minutes or hours of performance, interview, exam, or speech.
Ending is completion. It is also containment. See Money Well – How to contain wealth book.
The better you can complete or end, the better you will be able to contain.
End things the way you want to be remembered. End things as if it was the beginning of something new. Because every ending is potentially the beginning of a new cycle.
End as if you were completing a beautiful symphony, or a great art masterpiece, or an epic poem which will survive you into the ages. End elegantly, gracefully, with panache.
End so that tomorrow, you may be free to return – to that very same job, or relationship, or hotel, or plumbing job. Life is long, and you never know what will happen, I like to say. End well, that you may be remembered well.
How can both parties in an ending, ensure that the ending is harmonious, respectful, and gracefully closed, so that they can both move on? (Are you going all Carrie Bradshaw here, Kiki?
I didn't mean to.) That is the question.
It always amazes me how partners - business, married or otherwise - who have spent years and sometimes decades with one another, loving each other, growing business and fortunes together, sometimes creating children and lives together, suddenly at the point of separation want to screw each other over. Sorry, no polite way of putting this.
Usually one, though sometimes both of the parties turn into trolls. Years of history and good times are magically forgotten. Written off. Discarded. It seems all it takes is one single event – yes, perhaps it was a very painful event - to eliminate, often decades of connection.
How is that possible? Makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.
Even if the boss you are leaving is unpleasant. Even if your partner has turned into an orc. Even if don't want to be in business with this ducking and diving person. Even if you did not get the job, or win the tender. Even if she did run off with the milkman. Even if he ran off with the milkmaiden. Even if she is only twenty. Especially if so.
'Let us forget with generosity those who cannot love us'
End well, regardless. Tie up your loose ends. You can do it today. Finish your unfinished business. It draws your energy and attention and prevents you from moving forward. Say goodbye to someone. Say I'm sorry, I meant to return your sweater. Or deed of sale for that property that actually isn't mine. Or family jewels. Or this darn-dog-I-never-liked-in-the-first-place-but-I-took-it-to-piss-you-off. Let it go.
Tie up your loose ends. Even if people have passed on or are far away, you can still write them a letter, or have a chat in your mind's eye, so that you can achieve completion. So you can end the cycle.
End jobs, cycles, relationships, events, discord, well. End it beautifully. Finish it off like a couturier garment. Ensure the end is as beautiful as your want your next beginning to be.
Don't be sloppy. Don't drop the ball. Don't lose your manners. Don't allow the behaviour of others to determine how you behave.
Don't try to wrangle or connive or shlenter because things did not go the way you wanted. Even if the other party behaves this way. Do what you agreed to do. Stick to your agreements – written or otherwise. Be a gentleman. Be a lady. Be honourable. Finish well.
Finishing well is especially important when people say no. To a hotel booking, a quote for something, giving you their business, accepting the job you are offering.
I have noticed that nine (or more...) out of ten people just disappear without word or acknowledgement in such situations. With some, you can actually feel the seethe and dissatisfaction – particularly if you cancel something you were going to get, or do. Even if all due required notice was given. Even if you had not yet committed yourself to the person, thing, or event, but were just exploring.
Very, very few people navigate such endings in a way that leaves the door open for the future. Very few send back a friendly message of 'well we do hope you will come and visit at some time in the future' or 'I hope when you are less busy you can take the car for a test drive'.
And as for followup – well I can safely say, in my experience, as close to none as I can think of, do that. That's the subject of a whole other blog – followup.
Briefly though. If I am looking for apples, and you are selling apples (and presumably the very best apples in the universe, or else why are you bothering to sell at all); and I then decide I am not buying apples at the moment (for whatever reason), or even that I have chosen pears; it is your job as the seller of apples to do some follow up and see if I want to buy apples at some time in the (near) future.
Because regardless of anything, once, I was a buyer of apples. And you are a seller of (the best) apples (in the universe). What more needs to be said?
However, here we are looking at endings. Finishing off. Tying up loose ends. Ending well.
Make a grand exit – to anything. Leave those behind wishing that you had stayed. Finish so beautifully, so smoothly and elegantly that the universe itself is moved to open many new doors for you. Perhaps just to see how beautifully you close them.
What loose ends or unfinished cycles or goodbyes do you need to complete beautifully? Do it today.
It's always the end that people remember. Always remember that.
We create the world