The Completion Cycle:

  1.   Starting (infatuation)
  2.   Interregnum (the honeymoon is over!)
  3.   Habitual (found your rhythm)
  4.   Completion (comfort)

People say that starting is the hardest part.  I don’t see it that way.  Starting is really easy, it is exciting and I am full of initiative.  My perceptions and thoughts are all devoted to the new venture, job or relationship.  Starting is a piece of cake.  Continuing is difficult.  Sticking with it through thick or thin, when the excitement has worn off and before the habit-forming stage is difficult territory for me.  For many of you too, I would wager. This period is the Interregnum.  Once an activity becomes habitual, it becomes easy again.  Once the newness of a relationship has passed into that area before you know and accept the other, it is difficult to accept that lack of excitement and fervor.  I have to combat boredom and every step forward becomes a chore. That period is the hardest part.  That is the part that I normally stop in, quit in or leave in.

If you are able to work through this, then the process of habit kicks in.  It no longer has the passion and excitement of a new thing, but the action becomes somewhat automated so you do it out of mind.  And then, as long as you are free of doubt, you can finish or reach the area of a job or relationship that is comfortable and rewarding in its own way.  But it is the interregnum that we are concerned with here.

I am an idea junkie.  When a new one pokes its head up and says, “psst…” I am hooked for a time.  And I mean really hooked.  I love new ideas.  They are my life blood and responsible for many of the points of view contained on this site and many coming up, but they really are a pain in the ass sometimes.  Once I hit the interregnum, when the continuity becomes work and I have devoted so much attention to it and perhaps a little bored with the thing now (like a new toy played with day in and day out to the exclusion of all other toys, then there is a new toy over in the corner…) other ideas come calling and I have a hard time jumping ship and going to the new, shiny idea.  And the whole thing starts all over again.  So I have been trying new things to try and get through this, because it is really messing things up for me and now other people too.  Maybe I need an intervention.

So creative “professionals” (those who can really produce things regularly) say that when momentum stops, you have to supply your own, which is probably part of my problem.  So to do this, you need to write or paint or kiss or work even when you don’t want to or can’t maintain the enthusiasm, to create the need and excitement.  This is a great idea that is a real workout in self-discipline.

They also say that you need to vary it up a little (therapists say this too).   Intersperse other activities (and ideas!) at a time so as to not get tired and bored with what you are doing.  Again, that requires some self-discipline.  When we thoroughly enjoy an activity or person, it is very easy to want to be involved with it or them as much as possible.  This is okay if that kind of devotion yields a finished product or a stable relationship, but if it doesn’t…

Don’t worry about not knowing everything or the lack of perfection.  It is really easy to stop here.  I call it “The Wall”.  This is where I am unsure of how to proceed.  I have found something that I don’t feel comfortable with my current knowledge and so I research… and end up becoming enamored with something else in the research and leaving my original idea in the dust.  Just do it and correct it later.  Finish it and then go back and fix the holes in knowledge.  This is perhaps the seed of every unfinished book out there.  This is a constant battle in my poor war torn brain.

So what it really comes down to is that interregnum requires self-discipline more than passion.  So, if you are like me and wimpy in your self-discipline, we need to work out those self discipline muscles.


So tomorrow: How do we strengthen our self-discipline?

About Nathan

Hi! I am Nathan! So why am I here? That is my main question. I am fascinated by the current wave of science meeting with the philosophical questions throughout history. I am a Taoist and a disorganized dreamer who makes up new words to describe states of being and thought processes. I love to bring to you these simple yet powerful little inspirations and truths. I believe that each one of us is infinitely important and we are all connected. As Carl Sagan put it, “We are a way for the Cosmos to know itself.” We might be all connected, but you are still you. It is your perceptions that shape your reality. So join me in changing perceptions!

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