We diagnosed our 24-year-old daughter with a strange, but harmless, disease a few years ago. 

She has this unusual tendency to leave drinks around the kitchen with about a ½ ounce left.  I’m telling you, it’s uncanny – she just doesn’t finish, ever.  We see her pour a glass of my favorite, cranberry juice, and inevitably we’ll see that glass after she’s gone to work and, yep, there it is –  ½ ounce left! 

Sometimes we just leave it there for the day, hard as that is, and all we get is another two or three almost finished glasses to add to the collection.

Even if we call her out when she gets a glass, telling her about her “finishaphobia” issues… doesn’t change anything. The nearly finished glass will be there to taunt us a few hours later.

Fortunately, Madi’s issue of finishaphobia, while a little frustrating to us, is pretty tame compared to what it could be. 

One of the greatest examples of finishing is demonstrated in the 2006 movie Facing The Giants. The scene was set with the football team at practice. The kids were complaining about losing their best player. The coach pulled his top defensive player, Brock, and challenged him in a death crawl.  That meant bear crawling blindfolded with a player on his back for as many yards as he thought he could. Brock said he could go to the 30-yard line, but the coach challenged him to go to the 50.  They got in position, and the coach urged him to go.  The scene was pretty powerful as he provided some great motivational insights while he was crawling down the field.  Amazingly, the coach talked Brock all the way across the field, all 100 yards. 

When it comes to finishing, we’re all clearly more capable than we think.  We just need the right internal, and often external motivation.  Finishing helps us gain self-confidence, a belief critical to success.  After all, beliefs tend to drive behaviors.

How many marathon runners finished the race even if they were nearly ready to give up at the “wall,” only to build great personal confidence by fighting to finish? Most of them, including me.  There’s not one Olympian who is not a finisher. Finishing is an excellent trait for us to have and to model to others. What if you had a team – in business, sports, or your family – made up of excellent finishers? A team of finishers would be hard to beat.

By the way, give Madi a good craft beer and “finishaphobia” is no longer a problem. Hmmm… maybe priorities are the real issue here.