Avoiding Unfinished-Idea Heaven

Those of you who have the inclination, might have noticed that I have been rather remiss in the article posting stakes over recent months. My excuse? In Weight Loss for Food Lovers I wrote about how we need to be aware of the unconscious forces that will keep us stuck in the ‘nice idea’ phase of a project for so long that we don’t get  into the ‘execution’, the ‘doing’ phase. If we don’t execute our project, whatever it may be, we don’t finish. If we don’t finish, the greatest idea in the world will be relegated to Unfinished-Idea Heaven – the place that ‘nice ideas’ go to to spend the rest of eternity lounging by a half-filled pool while listening to the first part of all the unfinished songs. Euripides, the Shakespeare of Ancient Greece who wrote over 90 plays, said it simply: ‘Do not plan for ventures before finishing what’s at hand.’

Beware the seduction of the new, exciting and fascinating

There are several reasons why we don’t finish things we start. As I wrote about in Food Lovers, sometimes it’s failure fear, sometimes it’s success stress. For me it was seduction. Let me explain. Last year while on holidays I started writing a book about how to choose a healthy partner. I was several chapters into it when I realised I was at risk of making another contribution to Unfinished-Idea Heaven. You see, four years ago I started writing another book, a sequel of sorts to Food Lovers, although very different in many ways. I had finished writing it and was in the laborious rewriting and editing phase. This is the most tedious part of book writing, unable to compete with the alluring seduction of researching, writing and falling in love with a fresh, exciting and fascinating new book. In relationship therapy I often see people make the mistake of comparing a fresh, exciting new partner with the too well known, no-longer-exciting one that they have spent the last few years with. You can guess who usually wins. A few years on the exciting new partner is looking a lot like the last one … sometimes worse!

The danger is that we can give up on equally valid, or even more valid, ideas and projects as the shiny new ones grab our attention. To combat this temptress I made a deal with myself that I would not write anything else – blog articles included – until I sent the book off for publication. This happened just last week. So over the coming weeks you can expect to see me bothering your Inbox as I catch up on a pile of articles that came to me while finishing off this last book. Oh … by the way – wishing you all a belated healthy, happy and prosperous 2012.

One thought on “Avoiding Unfinished-Idea Heaven

  1. Heather

    Belated happy 2012 to you too, George! It’s good to hear that you sometimes fall prey to the same temptations us mortals slightly behind you on the emotional growth path do, and great to hear you admit it! Keep up the postings please – sometimes it’s all we need to prod us back in the right direction.

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