necessary endings

New is exciting! Whether it’s a new relationship, a new job, a new purchase, or even a new project at work. And when new things begin they usually start off with all kinds of passion, energy, excitement, and great anticipation for what’s about to happen. The same is rarely said for endings in life. Yet endings are just as normal and a natural a part of life as beginnings. Unfortunately little is written about handling the endings in our lives well.

That is why I’m excited about a recent book I read by Dr. Henry Cloud entitled “Necessary Endings.” In it he does a masterful job of leading us through how to handle endings in our lives well. In fact he goes so far as to assert that in order for us to move forward in life there are, “employees, businesses, and relationships that all of us have to give up in order to move forward.” It’s definitely worth the read and will challenge you to grow and think differently about your work, your relationships, and what it means to move forward in life.

Here are some of my favorite quotes and thoughts from the book that had an impact on me:

“Endings bring hope.”

“Make endings a normal occurrence and a normal part of business and life, instead of seeing it as a problem.”

“Pain by its nature is a signal that something is wrong, and action is required.”

“There is a difference between helping someone who is disabled, incapable, or otherwise infirm versus helping someone who is resisting growing up taking care of what every adult (or child for that matter) has to be responsible for: herself or himself. When you find yourself in any way paying for someone else’s responsibilities, not only are you stuck with a delayed ending, but you are probably harming that person.”

“Those that have the greatest difficulty abandoning things are often those unable to face reality.”

“…the best predictor of the future is the past.”

“This is often the biggest error that people make in determining whether to have hope or not. They forget to think about whom they are depending on to get it done. Instead, they look at what they want or wish to happen and forget who is holding the putter.”

“…wise people learn from experience and make adjustments.”

“You cannot fix people who will not take feedback, because from their perspective, they do not have a problem. So as far as they are concerned, there is nothing to fix. That is why they do not change.”

“…hope for someone who is resistant to feedback is not grounded in a lot of reality.”

“You have heard it said that people resist change. That is not always true. It is more true that people resist change that they feel no real need to make.”

“…you can’t do the prudent thing if you cannot stand for it all to fall apart. Often in necessary endings, you have to give something up or be willing to lose something in order to gain it.”

Posted in Leadership, Staffing

4 Responses to “necessary endings”

  1. Wendy December 6, 2011 at 1:20 am #

    Thank you for introducing me to this book. The end is just the beginning then!

  2. paul alexander December 6, 2011 at 2:13 am #

    You got it!

  3. Andrea Hodges August 16, 2015 at 5:53 am #

    Excellent recommendation! A great read, and reminder of all the reasons that an ending can be the best and most healthy choice.

  4. Shannon Carpenter August 17, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

    Love this book. Always good to evaluate if what we are doing is still effective or needs to be a necessary ending.

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