It's not how you start



I have been experiencing a lot of “new” recently. My soccer team, Liverpool FC, fired (or “sacked” as they say in England) their manager last month and hired an electric, new manager in Jürgen Klopp. The homey church that I have been attending for 18-19 years just moved into a new building that is a lot bigger and completely brand new. And did I mention that I am getting married to the girl of my dreams next June? That is a lot of change for a guy all at once!


Everyone loves a fresh start. Everyone loves a new beginning because they feel that they are no longer tied down to the past. New beginnings have not yet bet constrained by the bumps, bruises, and limitations of everyday life. Fresh starts get us all excited and allow us to dream, as they should.
Liverpool's New Manager, Jürgen Klopp


Finales, however, seem less popular and far scarcer. While most people start well, few end well. The average tenure of an English Premier League manager (according to the Guardian) is 1.23 years. That is a little over one year! And we have all heard the alarming statistics of divorce rates in America. Why is finishing well such a challenge for us?

Maybe because it is hard work.


We live in the age of immediacy. We crave immediate fortune, immediate pleasure, immediate information, and immediate success. Part of this is just human nature and part of this is due to the times we live in. The fact of the matter is that our cravings do a great disservice to us. They deceive us into thinking that if I can have it now, it is worth getting. They give us a short sited vision that is always looking for the next thing and the latest craze.


You will not find true success riding the hype train. You will rarely see the rocky road to victory trending on social media. Ending well is not glamorous and it is definitely not immediate. Ending well requires a lot of time, sacrifice, failure, and hard work. Anyone want to sign up for that? Not really.


Success means grinding it out when all the glitz and good feelings are long gone. It requires standing against the criticism after you lose a match that you should have one. It means choosing to love and serve your wife when those feelings of excitement are long gone. True success requires commitment and devotion. What will eventually be most valuable at the end will never be the exciting start, but the many challenges that were overcome along the way.

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