[Book Review] If we must thrive, we must have endings

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The end of poverty brings wealth. The end of childhood brings adulthood. The end of a war is peace, the end of a month ushers in a new month we can go on and on but one thing is certain: endings are a fact of life.

In Necessary Endings, Dr. Henry Cloud teaches that when it comes to our personal lives, endings are an important aspect of it. There are relationships that should go away, practices and phases that must be relinquished, and life stages that should come to an end to open up space for the next one. If we must thrive personally and professionally then we must have endings. Dr. Cloud says, "Being alive requires that we sometimes kill off things in which we were once invested, uproot what we previously nurtured, and tear down what we built for an earlier time."

Without the ability to end things, people stay stuck. -HT @DrHenryCloud Click To Tweet

The author defines Necessary Endings as removing whatever it is in our business or life whose reach is unwanted or superfluous. So many people are holding on to things that won't benefit them, lifestyles that drain them financially, people that are parasites to their personal and professional wellbeing, forgetting that their precious resources — time, energy, talent, passion, money — should only go to the buds of their life or business that are the best, are fixable, and are indispensable.

You can’t prune toward anything if you don’t know what you want. HT@DrHenryCloud Click To Tweet

To successfully use the limited resources that we have Dr. Cloud recommends pruning an act that involves removing everything and anything that is not wanted.This pruning has to do with focus,  mission,  purpose,  structure,  and strategic execution.When you do that it now becomes easy to allocate those important resources to the appropriate place. However, those who prune are those who know what they want, if you don't know what you want you might just be engaging in a futile exercise.

Pruning is strategic. It is directional and forward-looking. -HT @DrHenryCloud #NecessaryEndings Click To Tweet

Accepting the reality that we are in a world where we are limited by time, is a big step in the journey of living a fulfilled life. It is quite sad that people don't want to believe in this fact. They want to believe that they have enough time and energy to gather people, products, and activities infinitely and never have to end any of them. They do not want it to be true that at some point, they run out of time and energy and have to make hard choices.

Dr. Cloud posits that there are three kinds of people one has to deal with:

Wise People

When the truth presents itself, the wise person sees the light, takes it in, and makes adjustments.

Foolish People

The fool tries to adjust the truth so he does not have to adjust to it.  Conversations with foolish people are the most frustrating because it feels like you are talking to a wall.  They never seem to hear the feedback.

The fool tries to adjust the truth so he does not have to adjust to it. -HT@DrHenryCloud Click To Tweet

Evil People

Do not hope for the evil persons to change. It could happen, and it does but does not happen by giving in to them, reasoning with them, or giving them another chance to hurt you. It happens when they finally are subject to limits that force them to change. Jail does some people well.

Understanding these different categories of people will help you determine who should get your trust, and who is worth having a relationship with.

One major piece of wisdom that we ought to have as humans is to believe that life is in cycles and seasons. Alluding to Ecclesiastes, the book teaches that there are situations in business or in life where we are trying to birth things that should be dying, trying to heal something that should be killed off, laughing at something that we should be weeping about, embracing something (or someone) we should shun. If only we can know what to do and when, then we are on our way to success.

Thank you for reading this piece to the end. What do you need to end in your life in order to create space for new things?

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