The fact that the cycle includes both “finish” and “complete” suggests that while many of us reach the “finish” stage, that may not mean that it is actually “complete.”
The difference is subtle. If you were to look the two words up in a thesaurus, you will find the other word as a synonym for it. But there is a slight difference that can mean big change.
To “finish” something is to reach the end. It may be a class we are taking, a blog post we’re writing, or a sink full of dishes. Regardless of the task it is pretty obvious when it is finished, because we stop. The class is done, the blog post is published, the dishes are clean. The job is finished. But is it complete?
Think of “complete” as “fully”. Meaning all the loose ends related to the task at hand have also been taken care of. The class notes are filed away and the books are returned. The blog posted is announced through twitter and other social media. The dishes are dried and put away and the counter is wiped off and cleaned. Not only did you stop the task, but you have freed your mind of all the loose ends associated with the task – you are “completely done” with it. Can you see the difference in your mindset between the two?
It isn’t easy to reach completion of every task that we do. But the skill is worth developing. The more we can free ourselves from the business of of yesterday the more we make ourselves available for the opportunities of tomorrow.
Build this skill by starting small, with something you know you can fully complete. How about brushing your teeth or putting gas in your car? Next time you do these things, get off auto-pilot and really think through all the steps you need to take to reach completion. Become fully aware of what you are doing to reach your goals each day, and you will begin to “complete” more and more of them!
Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there.
By doing just a little every day, you can gradually let the task completely overwhelm you.