Necessary Endings

yhst-20550167876698_2167_10539471As the 2012 comes to a close, this last day of the year, it’s appropriate that I talk about Necessary Endings.

Necessary Endings is a book by best selling author Dr. Henry Cloud. The subtitle does a great job summarizing the book…”The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward”

Endings are not a tragedy to be first feared and later regretted but a necessary stage on the way to growth. Endings are a crucial way to get what we desire by shedding those things whose time has passed. This “pruning” process can spark people out of passivity or paralysis, getting them motivated and energized for change. With many examples of people moving on from untenable circumstances and through specific strategies for ending things well, Cloud advocates for powerful personal changes just in time for the New Year, and will give many readers the fresh start they crave. – (edited from an Amazon book review)
This may be the most significant book I read last year (Actually I read it in 2011 AND 2012).  The concept and process “deliberate pruning” and working through the things in your life that should come to an end is liberating and enlightening. The chapter on the “danger of hope” was especially helpful in reflecting on my past work experiences and in setting expectations for future endeavors.
One concept in the book that I come back to over and over again is hope based on DESIRE vs hope based on REASONS.
If I was honest, much of what I desire in life I do not have much control over. These desires are virtually no better than mere wishes and it is fruitless to get discouraged or frustrated when they don’t occur. It can be the same way in our jobs, and our home life and our relationships. I “hope” something or someone will change, but do I have any reasons for thinking that way?
As strange as it sounds, sometimes the best thing we can do to get unstuck is to give up hope. It is our “hope” that is  keeping us passive and has us in a holding pattern waiting for change to occur.  When we give up hope, now we can now make the necessary changes based on new choices and an organized plan. It’s even better if the plan has been crafted with wise council and has an accountability component to it.  Now there are tangible, logical and measurable reasons for our hope. When obstacles and discouragements come…and they will…hope will help us continue to move us forward and persevere.
I highly recommend this book. Do yourself a favor and add it to the top of your reading list.

Have a productive and creative New Year!

PS. Enjoy this 2012 recap by Google.

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