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Mine Own Worst Enemy

You have been working for this project for months. The deadline is next week. Everything is running smoothly. The last few pieces arrive in your inbox three days before they are due. You go to put the final touches on it, knowing right where you need to pay special attention to detail. Time to go home and relax.

The morning you are to turn it in, you sleep late, get to the office ten minutes before you need to send it off. You give it the once-over and notice where you forgot to do something…crucial. In the remaining eight minutes, you stuff thirty minutes worth of work with the degraded quality that level of fast forward creates.

Four hours later, the boss calls and asks what you have been doing for the last three months to justify your salary.

Take driving lessons from Hans Herrmann?


Sound familiar?

Not your job?

You and Quaint have been seeing each other casually. You both decide to begin dating exclusively. You hit all the high notes like Birgit Nilsson:

  • Remember important dates
  • Punctuality
  • Engage pursuits outside your sphere
  • Talk to people who are not yet your friends
  • Listen
  • Know when to make moves and not
  • Empathize

Now, you are Mates. At the end of your day, all you have on the brain is unwinding, vegging in front of the screen, going to relax with your friends, venting, being alone.

No more high notes. You could give Isaac Hayes a run for his money.

Oh, that.

Then, there is the most heartbreaking example. You have a personal goal within your sights: weight loss, dropping a bad habit, beating the top level of a game, finishing a manuscript, mastering a recipe, completing an art project, reading a book…And you let it all unravel in a matter of moments.

No one to blame. No act of a higher power. No catastrophe. You did it. (Pretend a four year old is asking.)


Stop for a moment and take the poll. Why do we go a million miles per hour to get ahead (or catch up) and trip at the finish line?

This is the beginning of the Tripping at the Finish Line series. All of the poll options, some of the add-in answers, comments on this post and the original questions which began this series will be addressed.

Thank you for reading the 600th post on M3.

(c) Red Dwyer 2012
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  1. Whether or not there’s culpability depends on the importance of the goal. If it isn’t that important, letting it slide is no big deal.
    If it is important, in hte end, culpability lies with the person that missed the mark.
    El Guapo recently posted..An Adventure – Bungee JumpingMy Profile

    • The three scenarios in the post are the goals. Career, Relationship, Self. And I would venture even in the small things culpability remains with the tripper.

  2. Red, letting things slide, procrastinating, and even backsliding, tripping at the finish line can happen and does. Sometimes it can be willfully caused by self-doubt…writers, as an example, frequently suffer from that “I don’t know if it’s good enough, will anyone like it, will it sell, will I be ridiculed?, how can I delay, rewrite, revise, make specific errors on purpose–the endless rewrite…” Culpability is probably an issue more often than not in many careers/projects etc –since if we were really confident, we would not second-guess ourselves–ever. Procrastinators R US on purpose.
    raymond alexander kukkee recently posted..The DoorMy Profile

    • So, does that mean you cast a vote for “Do not deserve it”? That is what I think of when you talk about the endless meandering not to bring something to the table to be judged good, bad or indifferent.

  3. Hey 600th post..wow..going great Sista :)
    ■Talk to people who are not yet your friends..yes yes yes and
    listen not just others but yourself too….lot of times the answer/solution/warning is there but we ignore it in rush to complete and make mistakes..
    Soma Mukherjee recently posted..not fonda anacondaMy Profile

  4. many things can be the cause of the “trip”, the “choke”. That has always been an important point of analysis for myself. Fear of success is big, but vague. It covers, enjoying the journey, not ready to move on to another goal, comparing myself with others can be a real devil IMO. I don’t see how I can succeed, if I am always comparing my output – there will always be better producers, better critical thinkers, etc. So bring it home, take the reins and clarify what my goal really is. Maybe it really isn’t crossing the finish line (first, or at all). At some point, I must make a choice, a decision, if I want to take credit for my successes, I must also take blame for my misses.
    lovely day to you, Red… and many successes, if that’s what you choose!!!

    BuddhaKat recently posted..Cracked, but never broken…My Profile

    • I think that is a poignant observation: I must make a choice, a decision, if I want to take credit for my successes. More people find this difficult than you would ever imagine. <3 xxx

  5. PS **waving things in the air and hollering** WOOHOO – 600!!!! YAAAAAAY!!!

    BuddhaKat recently posted..Cracked, but never broken…My Profile

  6. Oh, trip at the finish line I have. I have. Oh, I so have…
    Noeleen recently posted..A Pathway to Greatness…On the Road of the Broken MindMy Profile

  7. I’ve had my share of dropping the ball at the finish line. I think that when I get near done I get a head of myself thinking I’m done when I’m not.
    Deb recently posted..Kitty CatsMy Profile

  8. Where is the poll, Red?
    Deb recently posted..HuggersMy Profile

  9. I missed the poll on this, but I have been on vacation. I will catch up here. I love the concept.
    Derek Mansker recently posted..Jesus Christ – The Way (Week 3) – Jesus is the only answerMy Profile

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