Journal of the Practice of Cardiovascular Sciences

: 2022  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 133--134

Finish: Give yourself the gift of done

Louie Giray 
 Department of General Education, Colegio de Muntinlupa, Muntinlupa, Philippines

Correspondence Address:
Louie Giray
Department of General Education, Colegio de Muntinlupa, Muntinlupa

How to cite this article:
Giray L. Finish: Give yourself the gift of done.J Pract Cardiovasc Sci 2022;8:133-134

How to cite this URL:
Giray L. Finish: Give yourself the gift of done. J Pract Cardiovasc Sci [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Mar 25 ];8:133-134
Available from:

Full Text


Author : Jon Acuff

Genre : Self-Improvement, Motivational Leadership

Publisher : Portfolio

Release Date : September 12, 2017

Pages : 208

USD : 17.00

ISBN : 978-1591847625

Country : United States

Language : English

Subject : Perfectionism, personal development, finishing

Media type : Print (hardcover), ebook

I would like to see myself finish tasks and so are other people: researchers, students, and doctors. However, there are difficulties along the way that prevent us from doing that. Perhaps, this can be attributed to the fact that we are living in a world filled with many distractions such as social media and a messy environmental setup. Or it can be hinged on our internal belief systems. Nevertheless, I see that if we do not pay attention to this and we do not consciously improvise ways to finish an undertaking, we may get untoward consequences such as failing grades, demotion, or bad performance reviews.

In the context of organizations finishing a goal with less supervision from managers and organizational leaders is a requirement. Not only that it is important, but also it is an excellent way to attain the mission of the organization. Unfortunately, many organizational members still do not know how to set, align, and accomplish goals. This deficiency can negatively impact their job performance. Furthermore, when this becomes prevalent, organizational health will consequently decline.

Given all these, how can we improve on finishing our tasks? I sought advice from Finish, a Wall Street bestseller. It is an entertaining book on how to finish undertakings. Mainly, it reveals how vicious perfectionism feeds us with lies, so that we cannot achieve our desired goals. Jon Acuff is a motivational speaker and author of several books including Do Over, Start, and Quitter. He is also known for having a large and highly engaged social media following.

Chapter 1, The Day After Perfect, starts with perfectionism being the archenemy of finishing tasks. Many people tend to surrender when they see a mistake or things do not go as they expected. He makes the readers realize that our goals will never become perfect, and it is fine. We should have tolerance for imperfections because they inevitably go along the way. As we strive toward achieving our goals, we make a promise to ourselves. If we quit easily due to minor flaws, we become disappointed. Repetitive quitting makes us lose our trust and confidence in ourselves. Conversely, if we go forward despite the imperfections and we finish the goal, we become very fulfilled which helps reinforce a healthy identity. Perfectionism overemphasizes mistakes and belittles our progress.

Chapter 2, Cut Your Goal in Half, talks about one of the lies that perfectionism tells us, i.e., we should have bigger goals. Hence, the author suggests doing the opposite, i.e., cut a goal in half. The matter is when people set a grand goal and when they have not achieved it, they will be discouraged, leading to quitting, and not finishing. If a goal is cut into half, we would be more likely to continue striving for it because the initial success fuels us to successfully finish it. If a goal cannot be cut in half, he suggests paving a way for more time, instead; however, this cannot be applied to medical or life-saving goals.

Chapter 3, Choose What to Bomb, shares the third lie of perfectionism, i.e., we can do everything; the author explains that accomplishing any goal requires devoting time to it. Since we cannot give time to everything, we must be selective. He recommends to bomb or eliminate some tasks so that we concentrate better on our chosen goals. The attempt to do an immense number of things is extremely exhausting and reduces the quality of work. He suggests that we become strategically incompetent in some areas or tasks. Hence, we can say no or even relegate a task to others, giving us more time for our own valued goals.

Chapter 4, Make It Fun, If You Want It Done, presents the fourth lie of perfectionism, i.e., fun does not count. We commonly just juxtapose the term goal with words such as sacrifice, hard work, and pain, making us believe that goals should be miserable and that fun is not even valuable. Acuff pinpoints that we should deviate from this lie and understand the necessary role of fun in accomplishing goals. Integrating fun into tasks can improve satisfaction and performance success. People are motivated by either approaching reward or moving away due to fear. Utilizing fear, instead of fighting it, can be a means to an end. Meanwhile, a reward should be personal and subjectively satisfying.

Chapter 5, Leave Your Hiding Places and Ignore Noble Obstacles, discusses the two types of distractions: (1) hiding place, a task that feels productive but is a distractor from the real goal, and (2) noble obstacle, an excuse to abandon a goal. Acuff contends that perfectionism makes things harder while finishers make things easier and simpler. When people fall for distractions, the spirit of perfectionism would say that we already made the opportunity pass. To counter that, we should not listen to it and redirect ourselves toward our goals.

Chapter 6, Get Rid of Your Secret Rules, explains that secret rules are the beliefs that hinder us from achieving our goals. They can range from “success is bad” to “I have to do it on my own only” notions. Often, these rules are not obvious, and examining ourselves can make them apparent. We may misattribute the failure of accomplishing goals to laziness or wrong strategies when, in fact, they are caused by secret rules. Therefore, when secret rules present themselves, they should deliberately be destroyed and replaced with empowering ones.

Chapter 7, Use Data to Celebrate Your Imperfect Progress, suggests that we should utilize the power of data to measure progress and to know if we are still on track or not; using emotions as a tracker would not be credible. Although data are cold and lifeless, it can help us adjust and learn from our mistakes. When we ignore data, we embrace denial, which cannot help us finish a goal. The author adds that we should try to look (1) backward, when in the middle of finishing so that we can appreciate how far we have come, and (2) forward, when close to the finish line, so it can drive us to continue.

Chapter 8, The Day Before Done, reasons that experiencing fear of success is normal as we become closer to finishing a goal. Acuff theorizes that it can be rooted in (1) fear of what can happen next and (2) fear that it would not be perfect. He maintains that starting a new goal is easier than finishing an old one. He also mentions that many people do not complete it, because they want to control the ending, be recognized as a martyr, and reduce other people's expectations. We must not fear the day before dawn, as advised, for if we do, we will miss out on the thrill of keeping and ultimately completing the promise we made to ourselves.

I see the book as a smooth read. Prominent in this book is the creative use of the narratives, not only of his own, but also of others, to convey ideas. I find it very cogent since abstract ideas are made definite and concrete. Acuff powerfully uses humor and different types of sentence structures to encourage variety. That simulates everyday conversation. It is free from jargon and technical terms; plus, a play of vocabulary is undertaken, which is interesting.

I respect the narrative style in his writing. However, I highly suggest that he incorporate more scientific insights which can backup his contentions. This also can reinforce the legitimacy of his claims and recommendations. I propose also that he use single cases judiciously and with appropriate caveats. However, overall, the book is inspiring and can be a helpful resource for different types of people since it has plenty of actionable ideas and strategies on finishing, let it be individual or organizational goals.