The Importance of Finishing What You Start

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“Do not plan for ventures before finishing what’s at hand.” Euripides

In 1978 my cousin graduated from Carver High School and enrolled in a radio school in Richmond. After he had gotten settled in, I went to visit him one weekend. Prior to that, I thought being in radio was like being a basketball player in the NBA. A radio announcer or “DJ” had to be blessed with an abundance of talent and was chosen to be in the business because of that talent. Going to school to learn the skills necessary to be in the broadcasting business did not exist in my mind until that weekend. I graduated from Martinsville High School a year later, in 1979, and left for Radford University. Four years later I came back home with a Bachelor of Science degree in Radio and Television Communications and although I was not blessed with the talent of an NBA star, I have been blessed to have spent the past 39 years doing what I love to do.

I read an article over the weekend concerning the relationship between a college graduate’s degree, and what they actually end up doing as a career. Often the two are miles apart. Mine ended up being right on the money. But, I do believe there is an important point made in getting a degree, any degree, regardless of what you choose to do in life. A college education teaches a person, above all, two things; 1) The desire to continue the learning process and the understanding that life itself is a process of gaining greater understanding by always being in the act of learning. 2) There is much to be said about enjoying the journey, but reaching the destination is critical and underrated these days.

I told my children as they were growing up, that the concept of being satisfied with the effort, feeling you have achieved something because you tried as hard as you could, has very little application in real life. Accomplishment is what counts. Writing books is nice, but the only writer’s that finish them become authors. Building anything remains a construction until it is finished and becomes useful in some way. Obtaining a college degree is a mark of accomplishment, whatever the degree is in. It proves the person receiving it, not only tried but finished what they started. Of course, a degree is not the only life-defining event that proves this point. Whatever we pursue in life, our measure will not be determined by how hard we tried, but what we finished.

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