On Stopping One Step From The Goal

You don’t need to “power through.” We’re not in college anymore, cramming for the next morning’s exam.

It’s midnight. You’re tired. But you’re close to the finish line. You can feel it. You can wrap the day neatly; you can get the victory just before going to bed. If you push for one more hour…

You can finish reading that book.
You can watch the end credits on that video game.
See the last episode of the season.
Place the finishing touches in that presentation.
Write the final paragraph of that chapter.

But…

You won’t retain as much of the information in the book.
You’ll be too tired appreciate your victory over the game.
You won’t enjoy the last episode as much as if you’d been anticipating it for one extra day.
The presentation will lack polish, and you know it.
Those last words will come from a need for closure, not from the muses.

Let go of the need to finish now. Let go of the need for that final, extra, push. The work, the leisure, the knowledge will be there tomorrow, waiting for you. You can finish today as a slave, or tomorrow as a champion.

It’s the difference between crossing the finish line in exultation or doing so in exhaustion.