You Didn’t Come This Far to Only Come This Far

There are many ways to determine the importance of a moment. To me, one of the best ways is to consider how long the moment stays with you after it happens. There was a small moment I experienced a few weeks ago which seemed insignificant at the time, yet it constantly drifts in and out of my thoughts.

I was at the gym with my friend, taking a kickbox cardio class. Near the end of the class, the instructor said something that stuck with me: “You didn’t come this far to only come this far.” I’d seen the quote on Pinterest before, but it was different hearing it in that moment, when I was exhausted and sweaty and willing the clock to go faster so the class would be over. I had worked hard during the class, and I hearing that quote made me realize that I didn’t put in all that effort to give up in the last ten minutes, no matter how tired I was.

The more I thought about the quote, the more inspired I became by it. When, a few days ago, I was almost done checking off all of the items on my to-do list and was tempted to skip the last task, I reminded myself that I didn’t come that far to stop there. When I thought about the fact that I’m almost done high school, I reminded myself that I’ve come so far and am not done yet: I still have a few months to work hard and finish strong. I didn’t come this far to only come this far. In other words, it’s not over until it’s over.

Imagine you’ve finished 80% of a project. That 80% was made up of your best efforts, and it was hard work. You might feel inclined to put less effort towards the remaining 20% required to finish the project, since you’ve already worked so hard. But you didn’t work so hard for that 80% to skimp on the last part of your project – and it’s often that last 20% that’s the most important. It’s the last paragraph of your essay, neatly tying everything together. It’s Friday, ensuring you end your week on a happy (and productive) note. It’s the last sequence before the cool-down in an intense class at the gym. It’s the culmination of all of your hard work, and you shouldn’t throw it away.

In our fast-paced, results-driven society, I sometimes feel like there’s so much emphasis on reaching the finish line that the journey of the race gets muddled. When we near the end we speed up, despite the steady pace we maintained throughout the race. Sometimes when we see the finish line, the quality of our work becomes less important than the idea of finishing it. We see that there are five minutes left in the exam and suddenly we’re scribbling down anything that comes to mind. We notice that we’re almost done everything on our to-do list and we begin to get distracted. We’re almost done, so we figure that can stop working hard. When we have this mentality, we put less effort towards the last 20%;  meaning we jeopardize the hard work we put into the 80%.

In fact, there are even times when we get close to the finish line and give up. It’s easier, we may think, to stop what we’re doing than to work hard and finish it. Let’s say that the aforementioned project which you’ve finished 80% is a novel. You’re tired, or you’ve lost your motivation, and because of this, even though you’re close to finishing it, you give up. You didn’t write 80% of the novel to give up because you don’t want to work hard to finish it. You wrote 80% of the novel to keep going, to push through the frustration and to work hard so you can accomplish what you’ve already made so much progress towards.

When you work really hard for something, you should finish it the same way you started it: by working hard, not rushing towards the finish line, and not considering giving up unless it’s absolutely necessary. After all, you didn’t come this far to only come this far.

30 thoughts on “You Didn’t Come This Far to Only Come This Far

  1. Thanks for the inspiration Sherina. I’m 4 months into a 15-month intense leadership program. The first semester will end in 2 weeks and I’m weary. But I want to finish the semester as strong and motivated as I started. Thanks for helping me stay focused on why I started this in the first place. I will finish strong!!

  2. Reblogged this on VOICE OF THE MAVERICK and commented:
    “When I thought about the fact that I’m almost done high school, I reminded myself that I’ve come so far and am not done yet: I still have a few months to work hard and finish strong. I didn’t come this far to only come this far”

  3. Thank you so much for this post 🙂 I love how your writing always inspires and motivates me despite how seldom I read them. (senior year, can’t be online much :p) It’s true, we didn’t come this far to only come this far.

  4. This post was just what I needed and so true! Recently, I decided to continue writing the story that I had once left unfinished. I guess all 56,000 words meant more to me than I’d realised. After all, if I’ve come this far, I might as well finish what I started 🙂

  5. Hi Sherina,
    Thanks for allowing me to re-blog this. It is the first reblog of any post! I didn’t really know what I was doing and when I reblogged from your site, it automatically published, which I had not realised would happen – I thought it would appear in my dashboard.
    Anyway, I wanted to included the following comment (which I have now done!):

    “Have you ever felt like giving up on your dream? I know I have.

    It is all too easy when you’re feeling discouraged, hurt, tired, or uninspired to want to throw in the towel. Or if you face obstacle after obstacle after obstacle, you might wonder whether the prize (the realisation of your dream) is really worth all the effort, the heartache, the pushing through. And, if your efforts do not appear to be appreciated or celebrated, you might wonder whether there is any point in continuing with what you are doing, or are seeking to achieve. Perhaps even, the voices of opposition, of nay-sayers and dream-squashers have infiltrated your mind and thoughts and may even begin to cause you to concur with their opinions!

    That’s why it’s vital to have a supportive community around you. It’s important to have people who will speak a positive word into your life. And it can be invaluable, when that key word is spoken at the right time. I read a post this week from a very switched-on young lady, whose words of wisdom belie her years. I just had to reblog this post and I trust it will be a timely word of encouragement and inspiration to many of you.

    Purpose-driven believers and dream achievers, I wish you all a blessed and victorious week!”
    I’m not sure whether I should be giving you the url, or whether WP automatically gives this to you (as you can see, I am a complete novice about these things!)

  6. Awesome post and such a timely read for me as I journey towards what I truly believe Gif is calling me to do! I’ve had high peaks and really low valleys along the way. Right now everything seems to be standing still but I remain hopeful that matters will start to go on an uphill climb again. Great post my friend!

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