Take time to do things properly

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There’s no denying I get easily side-tracked. I start doing one thing then something brighter will catch my eye and like a magpie I chase it. Now while I may have discovered something new and shiny it also means I haven’t finished what I started.

I was inspired to write this by the amazingly persistent Corpse Flower. It’s an extremely rare plant from way out in the Sumatran jungle. It gets its name from its terrible smell but what’s most admirable about this plant is the effort it puts into growing, its commitment to purpose. It takes seven to ten years before it even flowers and then years before blooming again.

We live in such a fast paced world, constantly rushing for results, that we can forget it actually takes time to do a good job. If I’m honest there’s no quick fix to my projects and I have to commit the time it will take to complete them properly. This is hard because we’re programmed for reward, to get rich quick, but life isn’t like that. To do things well takes time.

The Corpse Flower completes its purpose against a lot of environmental adversity. It works hard to survive. Our work and hobbies need that same commitment. This ability to persist when bombarded by other things seems key to finishing anything.

And after the magnificent flower wilts away it dies back, leaving nothing but a single leaf. What a beautiful image, it has done what needed to be done but the seed is sown for new growth to begin. So if you’re a great starter but poor finisher take some inspiration from the Corpse Flower. As Confucius said, “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

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