Patience Is Better Than Pride

Finishing is better than starting.
Patience is better than pride.
(Ecclesiastes 7:8)

This small adage is found taped to my desk. A small square, front and centre preceding my monitors. A reminder every day that I am not working towards starting things, but to finishing them.

What is better:

  • Starting your weight loss program, or losing the final 3 pounds before hitting your target weight?
  • Signing up for the marathon, or crossing the finish line?
  • Applying for university, or walking across the platform to graduate?

The excitement of a project is often in the newness stage. We get excited because there is a potential for a different future. We clearly see the vision of where we want to go. We know that things will be better. We all like the boost that this excitement gives us. At some point, the journey turns from exciting to monotonous. There is work to be done, mundane deadlines to meet, and everything seems difficult. When the shine wears off, that is the point that we normally look around to see what new thing we can start working on.

Finishing is better than starting. It doesn’t matter how it feels to start, the act of finishing something gives you power. You have completed it. It no longer has a nagging hold on you. You are completely free to move onto the next thing. It takes patience and persistence to finish things. The discipline of finishing is valuable to this world. If you never finish, you never deliver something that is wholly usable.

Finishing is better than starting.
Patience is better than pride.

Finish what you are working on. Finish well. Your patience on the long road is much better than the flash of pride you show off when you tell people about what you have started.