A while ago, I shared a few thoughts about effort in a post titled The Distance From Zero to One (two minute read).
If you'd allow me to broadly categorize this post as being about beginnings, then the post you're about to read now, is about endings.
Let's compare two seemingly different situations.
Even if you haven't experienced either of these yourself, imagine them, or talk to someone about them.
Situation 1: The final minutes of a long workout
You have already expended a lot of energy.
You can see the finish line, and yet it feels further away than it should.
You have a choice.
You can relax, slow down, and cruise to the finish, or ...
Push. Very hard. Because a small part of you knows you'll feel better about ending this way.
Situation 2: 5pm - 7pm on a school night, with two school-aged kids at home
Some call it, "the witching hour."
They're tired. You're tired.
Your day may have been filled with a lot of mental lifting, or possibly physical exhaustion.
You can see 7:01pm in your future, but at this point, it may as well be 12 hours away.
You have a choice.
Give in, let them have anything they want, just make your life easy or ...
Hold the hard boundary, drag (if you must) them up to the bath, and put them in (with their clothes on, if you must).
The latter option will feel much harder, but it may result in reaching 7:01pm sooner.
What can we learn from these situations, and how do they connect to the post I linked to at the beginning?
I think an analogy might be helpful here.
Picture a big hill and a big rock.
Pushing the rock at first, will feel hard.
It will feel hard all the way up the first side of the hill.
Then things will change.
Now, a twist.
Instead of letting the rock casually roll down the hill, imagine you have to run to the bottom of the hill and stop it.
Ok, analogy over.
I think the lesson that connects the two situations in this post and the post I linked to at the very top, is this:
When you're going from zero to one, you're dealing with inertia.
When you're close to the end, say going from 99 to 100, you're dealing with momentum. A lot of momentum.
Whether you're fighting one or the other, both take considerable effort.