Necessary Endings

rosepruningEndings are difficult.  One of the most difficult things in one’s professional life is choosing to bring something to an end.  It could be a project, a way of thinking, a strategy or even a relationship.  This is particularly true in the nonprofit world where there are so many needs to meet.

Endings are necessary.  It is important to remember this truth.  At the 2013 Chick-fil-A Leadercast, Dr. Henry Cloud talked about “necessary endings” and compared it to pruning a rose bush.  Dr. Cloud explained that a rose bush produces more buds than it can sustain.  He then shared these three insights about the buds:

  1. The best ones need the resources of the vine.  Again the vine cannot support all of the buds.  It must be pruned.
  2. Some are sick and aren’t going to get well.  They must be pruned to provide more resources for the best buds.
  3. Some are dead already.  We do not like to think that something is ever dead or cannot be revived, but we usually know when this is the case.

The same is true in life.  We like to hang onto products, projects, strategies, meetings and people.  Then we spread ourselves too thin without the ability and resources to do it all.  In the process we end up hurting everyone involved.  Sometimes we need to do some pruning.

Dr. Cloud challenged us to create necessary endings and gave us these three questions to help us determine what to prune:

  1. What’s good but not the best?
  2. What’s sick and not well?
  3. What’s dead and not going to come back?

Check out Dr. Cloud’s book Necessary Endings for more on this topic.

So what do you need to prune from your life?  Share in the comments section. 

Add yours ↓
  1. Michelle

    Thanks for posting this…gives me something to think about.

    July 3, 2013