I’ve written before about the special energy available at the beginning of a new undertaking; a mix of curiosity, excitement, fear, and possibility that motivates us as we start on the new journey. Well, the end of things also has an energy of its own. Or rather, energies, since things can go in multiple directions.

If the undertaking has gone well, there will be relief, excitement, and a sense of accomplishment. If it was a team project, there will also be a sense of camaraderie; we did it! It’s important to take time out at these moments to celebrate and to recognize those who contributed to success.

However, not all projects end on a positive note. When things go wrong, the mood at the end will be very different: There will likely be a sense of resignation, disappointment, and perhaps even fear. (In such cases it’s often tempting to lapse into cynicism or a victim mindset. Resist this impulse!)

As the song says, all things must pass. Whether things have gone well or not, it’s important to acknowledge the end. Doing so frees us to move on, to try new things. The feelings of elation or disappointment will eventually subside. When they do, we can reflect: How did the project go? What could I have done better? How will I do better? Then we can move onto the next thing, back onto tapping into the energy-of-beginning.