By David Skidmore
October 11, 2022

Finding joy in endings

Embracing endings and learning to prune your life can help you reach your highest potential.

Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships All of Us Have To Give Up to Move Forward

By Dr. Henry Cloud

Change is happening all around us. You can see the shift in the leaves, temperature, and even when the sun sets. We are reminded, as Solomon wrote, “there is a time to be born and a time to die.”

We spend a lot of our time avoiding endings. We don’t want to end things. Sometimes we avoid them, procrastinate, or take another path. There’s a reason so many relationships end with, “I thought things were going great, and then they ghosted me.”

What if endings aren’t a bad thing? What if endings are a good thing? Even more, what if they are necessary? Finally, what if endings are the path of wisdom for your life?

Dr. Henry Cloud builds this book around the concept of necessary endings, hence the title. He uses the imagery of a rosebush to talk about endings. The greatest enemy of a rose’s best bloom is overcrowding it with good blooms. He outlines that everything that must be pruned isn’t necessarily what we might think of as bad, but sometimes it simply isn’t what is best for us. 

One of the reasons we often don’t embrace endings is that we are convinced they are painful. Moreover, we often believe pain is bad.

Sometimes what is painful can be the best thing for us. For instance, Dr. Cloud brings up the importance of a root canal. If a tooth is decaying, the root canal may hurt, but it is the only way to make things better.

It is important to normalize endings in our lives. Dr. Cloud shares that if we view endings as a negative thing, then the rose bush of our lives will never be in full bloom. The best way forward is to acknowledge there are necessary endings. Instead of just focusing on the behaviors you don’t want, it is essential to identify the reality you do want, not just the behaviors and challenges you don’t want. 

Some leaders wait until December to approach their year-end planning. If you accept the wisdom of Dr. Cloud, you might begin now. In the final three months of this year, you might let go of a few things, prune others, and acknowledge it could be time for something to die. Maybe it’s your business, work, or a relationship.

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About David Skidmore

David Skidmore is a speaker, leadership trainer, and executive coach. He is the founder and CEO of LeaderGrowth, a leadership company designed to help individuals and organizations overcome challenges and experience transformation. David is the author of Unstuck: Turn Potential into Purpose which is available on Amazon, and his podcast LeaderGrowth with David Skidmore is available wherever you listen to podcasts. He is the co-organizer of TEDxOklahomaCity and has coached 17 speakers resulting
in over 150k views. David enjoys the Oklahoma City Thunder, summers at the lake, and exploring new cities.