Change The Ending

Novelty and Continuance

There is a quote by CS Lewis which goes: “You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

It’s 2022, and here’s hoping that this year is a safe, peaceful, and happy one for you.

Novelty is exciting, for a new year gives hope. New resolutions, habits, things. But 2021 has taught me that we’re – generally speaking – ‘good beginners, poor finishers’. I’ve talked about this before already, but today’s timing and relevance make it better. Frankly, nothing’s really changed between Dec 31 and Jan 1, except the feeling that this change invokes.

This feeling drives us to make new resolutions, but the side-effect is the abandonment of the unfinished, broken ones of 2021. The thought I’d share is this: Instead of making new resolutions or commitments this year, take stock of what you left unfinished last year, and continue that.

It’s not a big shift, but a subtle one that makes a big difference. When you’re in progress of something that’s already in motion, things are easier than they seem. This is because you’re used to the inevitable plateaus in progress. But when you begin new things, things seem easier than they are. This is because we underestimate these plateaus in progress.

New is good, but old is better. It’s better to continue weaving the fabric, and finish weaving, than to start a new yarn. In 2019, I posted my reflections. In 2020, I posted my annual letter to the shareholders as a progress report. For 2021, I plan to do the same letter, with one change: To look back on 2021 and look ahead on 2022.

In effect, years need not be static or boxed. A new year is an arbitrarily-designed lap, but the track remains the same, and so does the run. It’s not one 400-meter run, but a continuous lap of 400-meter runs. Point is, as you start a new lap, continue with the same intensity and improve, not start the lap as if it’s new.

Happy 2022.

Until next time,