I’m reading a book called “Tribe of Mentors” and one of the first nuggets that grabs me is this statement, “Decide how it’s going to end.” The premise is that as we begin anything, a business, a relationship, a friendship, we must also visualize how we want it to end. Because everything will end someday, won’t it?
I have a manager at work who’s voluntarily retiring today. And he says he’s avoided thinking about today for all of his working life. He knew it would end someday, but he didn’t know how or when. Well, here he is.
And it might seem mildly morbid to think about how things end. We assume that we will remain friends till we’re old and grey. We take marriage vows that’ll keep us bound till we die. We expect that our businesses will outlive us and become wildly successful enterprises. How will it all end?
It’s made me reflect a bit on when I’ll retire. How I’d like to retire. I’m thinking of all the things I’ve started, the things I want to start. And I’m asking myself, “What does a good ending look like?” What is a good ending for a business? A coffee shop? A library? A Whatsapp group?A good ending for a blog? What is a good ending for a career?
I want my engineering career to end without fanfare. Just me, sneaking off with a small cardboard box containing my personal effects. I want to go home to bed and wake up at 7:22 am (science says it’s the optimum waking time) and go about my morning leisurely, knowing that I don’t have to be anywhere in a hurry. I would eat proper breakfasts, read books and go on long walks. Some days, I would swim unhurried laps. I would eat lunch with a different friend every day and eat dinner with my family. I would write. And then I’d do it all again the following day.
Do you think about endings? How would you spend your retirement?