PHLEARN MagazineBeginning vs. Starting

Beginning vs. Starting

Whether or not you know it, you’re really good at beginnings.

You were born.

You began school every fall.

You begin a new year every January.

You begin a new relationship every time you meet someone.

You begin a new chapter with every transition.

Beginnings simply happen over time.

But there’s a difference between beginning and starting.

Beginnings happen because of the forces around you.

Starting happens because of the longings within you.

You start something when you feel a pain, see a need, or stumble upon an opportunity. You start a new habit, business, action, function, process, etc.

And whereas beginnings lead to endings, you start something because you want to finish it. And you want to finish better than when you started.

Naturally, you’re not quite as good at starts as you are at beginnings. Starting is a bit harder. They require intention, community, courage, and a dose of naiveté.

But starting isn’t as difficult as finishing. That’s where the magic is. That’s where most people never arrive. Sure, they may end…but to finish is to get to the place you intended. Even if it’s not pretty, it’s powerful. It requires regular reflection, a community, and planning to make sure you’re on the right track and land in the right place.

Unlike beginning and ending, you’ll know when you finish what you’ve started. You will have learned, grown, moved, changed something. Because finishing is your doing. Ending is time’s doing.

So, are you beginning and ending? Or starting and finishing?

Victor Saad

Victor is the Founder of Experience Institute, the author of Leap Year Project, a 2015 inductee in Forbes 30Under30 for education, and an avid connoisseur of dark chocolate.

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