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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Keeping The End Open

Which project undertaken in your life took you the longest to complete? If you're still working on it now, how long have you already been at it? What is your projected completion date?

On my first cross-country driving trip in 1972, one of my stops was the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota. 41 years ago, my lack of imagination prevented me from picturing what visionary sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski was attempting even though at that point he and his family had already been carving away the mountain for almost 25 years. By my next visit to the Black Hills in 2000 Ziolkowski had been gone 18 years, but enough progress had been made I could now see what he'd devoted his life to. The short film about this project shown at the visitor center left me weeping. If you're unfamiliar with the memorial and this man's singular dedication, visit the website. Try not to be astonished and humbled.  

Ziolkowski has crossed my mind many times over the past 13 years, most recently when I was tempted to abandon one of my own long running, albeit much more mundane projects. Accepting no government funds, Ziolkowski decided from the outset the Crazy Horse Memorial would have no projected completion date. For now, I've decided this great man's approach is worth following. Declaring my project finish open-ended could be what's needed to re-energize me, as long as I avoid procrastination. How would a strategy like that work (or not) for you?

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