Speaker | Entrepreneur | Author

Sam Davidson's blog

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On Ending Well

Things end. We don't like to admit it in our world where we prolong death and fight for everything to keep going. We cheer loudly for an encore at rock concerts, hoping the performer will play just one more (set). We badly want all things to keep going. But they're not meant to. Some things need to come to and end.

Sometimes, the best thing for a marriage is for it to dissolve. Some companies need to go out of business. Not all churches need to last forever. In fact, by coming to an end, some things can actually be better for it. If you can end something on your terms and walk away, then there can be beauty in the closing of a chapter of your life.

Watch this trailer about LCD Soundsystem's last tour:

The question at the beginning is haunting: "When you start a band, do imagine how it will end?"

Of course not. When you start anything, usually, you think it'll go on forever. Relationships, companies, and commitments - we think - will last forever. Otherwise, heartbreak and despair will surely follow.

Not always. Not if you end well.

The best way to end well is to "kill it before it dies."

This is an old piece of summer camp advice that we used when leading activities for teenagers. One day, you'd play a new game that the kids absolutely loved. When you recognized this, you needed to end the game. Kill it. That way, you could play every day for 20 minutes or so. If you milked it for everything an hour the first day, they wouldn't want to play it again the rest of the week, forcing you to scramble for other game ideas. It was better to cut it short while excitement and interest were high (kill it) than to let it fester to a point where no one was interested (dying).

Some of our ideas and relationships are worth killing. This is tough to write, but there are many things in our life right now that have reached their maximum potential. They need to come to and end while our experience with them is on a high point.

Unless you think something can be reinvented and drastically improved (which is worth staying on for), it's time to say goodbye. Bid something farewell this week and create a great new beginning for yourself.

Sunsets can be so breathtaking.

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