Why We Never Finish What We Start

By Ivan Nikolov

Why we never finish what we start

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This has happened to me many times before. In fact, more times than I even want to admit.

Has it happened to you as well?

Let’s be honest.

Have you started something before only to give up on it before you finish it or before you see the results?

I know you have… and there’s no judgment here. It’s just how most of us are most of the time.

Do you want to know the reason why we start on projects but we don’t finish most of them?

The reason is one and one only! Here it is:

The reason why we rarely finish what we start is this: the pain of staying the same or of not getting the result is not big enough!

See, we do things for one of two general reasons:

  • To avoid future pain, or
  • To gain future pleasure

Both of these are strong motivators, but avoiding future pain is way stronger than gaining future pleasure.

And, either one of these must be present in order for us to be motivated enough to move a project to completion.

The problem is that more often than not when we start on a new project we start without having taken the time to examine your WHY’s – our true motivation.

And, the source of our motivation is always one of the two future conditions I mentioned above.

Here’s an example:

If someone wants to lose 30 pounds but there’s no underlying health condition that adds urgency the person will most likely not be motivated enough to lose the weight.

However, if there was a danger of the person dying of complications because of the extra weight then the person will most in most cases finish the undertaking.

Why? Because, the pain of dying is a lot bigger (at least the imagined or perceived pain) than the pain of going through the process of losing the weight.

That’s really it.

Once again, the most basic reason why we usually don’t finish what we start is this: the pain of staying the same and not getting the result is lower in scale than the perceived pain of going through the process and changing.

Now that you know this you will know where to look at if you want to be successful in your projects – whatever they may be.

You must examine your motivation. There must be a big future pain that completing the project will help you avoid – and you must be very conscious of that. Period.

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