“No finish line” applies to most of our work too.
There will be tasks to tick off and projects that we complete, but most of the important stuff – helping people who need help, making something important available, working so that things get better rather than worse – doesn’t stop. Won’t stop.
- That projects and milestones become more important, not less, because they help us find our way;
- That while you may finish projects, the work will last longer than you do;
- That commitment and consistency (“showing up”) become more important than speed and flair;
- That there is time to get better at the work;
- That you should know where you’re going (think compass, not map) and spend time thinking about the best way to get there;
- That you will get bored, sick and tired at times along the way;
- That renewal – personal, corporate – is imperative;
- That long-term relationships of trust and care are worth investing in;
- That many of the people you’re working with now won’t be working with you down the road, and that this is okay, and that the time you have together matters;
- That there will be surprises;
- That this kind of work is what you’re going to spend most of your time doing – so you should keep your eyes peeled for the fun bits;
- That the wider ecosystem (the environment and inputs that enable the work) takes on increased importance;
- That helping people to see the importance of the cause and to get started becomes more of a priority;
- That whether or not it’s time for you to exit now or not, you will exit, and you should have a plan for how you’ll do so without leaving too much of a mess.
There are probably other things too – what would you say? – but the only way to stop writing is to stop writing.