Sue was totally in love with Jim. The couple met in high school and dated for eight years. Everyone who knew them expected them to get married and live happily ever after together. Then Jim met Karen. Before anyone knew what was happening - including Sue - Jim had eloped with Karen, putting an end to all of Sue's dreams and expectations.

Sue was devastated. All she could think about was Jim and how she had been cheated out of a happy and secure lifetime with him.

She attempted to date other guys but no one could compare to Jim in her eyes. Sue spent her days feeling sorry for herself and dreaming that one-day, Jim would return to her.

After many years, Sue finally married another man. However, he could not measure up to Sue's memory of Jim. As a result, Sue's marriage was an unhappy one in which she never was able to give her all to her husband. After a number of unhappy years, her husband left Sue as well.

Sue lived out the remaining years of her life lonely, embittered and righteously indignant about how she had been wronged.

It is impossible to be totally present to life, living full out in the moment, if we are incomplete with our past. Instead of welcoming each new experience with a fresh perspective, we become bogged down in the baggage from previously unresolved issues.

All too often, when something does not work out as we had hoped, we worry about or re-live the event over and over again. Maintaining our focus on the past distracts and confuses us, draining our energy.

The future presents us with an opportunity to complete the past. When we do so, people and events no longer possess an emotional charge. Communicating responsibly with the appropriate people and releasing any remaining opinions, feelings, upsets or emotions until there is nothing left to say is the access to clearing all residue that may interfere with moving on in life. When there is nothing left to say or do and you are void of further energy around an incomplete incident, you can start anew.

Completion is a declaration you make that you are satisfied for now and ready to move on to what's next. When you are complete, you no longer feel the need to change, worry or fix something in your past.

There is value in declaring yourself complete at the end of each day. This declaration allows you to recognize your accomplishments for the day putting your mind at rest so that you can start fresh the next day. When you are complete, you experience a new vitality and aliveness. There is a special sense of certainty and excitement that allows you to be most productive and present for whatever project or opportunity is next. However, most of the time we never quite reach that level of freedom due to our reluctance to communicate all there is to say in order to put it all behind us.

Do not confuse completion with being finished or with quitting. Being finished means you are done with doing whatever it is you've finished. Quitting is about your decision to stop what you are doing whether you are finished or not. There are times when quitting does not support you if you are quitting for the wrong reason. For example, you quit because you cannot be with an interpretation of failing or perhaps, because you are unwilling to take responsibility for communicating what is so for you in the appropriate manner.

Although there is little room in our society for quitters, there is no dishonor in quitting if you are clear about the consequences of your decision and staying at it no longer serves you. All there is to do is simply tell the truth - and go on to whatever is next for you.


1) Make a list of all those people with whom you are still angry or have an existing challenge or incompletion.

2) Within the next 30 days, complete with everyone on your list. For those who are deceased or unreachable, write a completion letter saying everything you need to say in order to be complete.

3) For every interaction or situation you experience daily, ask yourself if you are complete, satisfied and fulfilled. Is there anything left to say or do that would allow you to put any incompletions behind you?

4) As you declare each situation complete, look to see what action, project or area of research is next for you.

5) Identify any areas where you have quit. Have you told the truth and completed with your decision to quit? Is there anything left to do or say to anyone about it?

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Joe Rubino is an internationally acclaimed personal development trainer, life-changing success coach and best selling author of 5 books on topics ranging from personal and leadership development to restoring self-esteem and maximizing business productivity. An acclaimed speaker and course leader, he is known for his work in leadership development, listening and communication skills, life and business coaching, team building and conflict resolution. His best selling books are (or soon will be) available in 14 languages and in 22 countries. These include:

-The Magic Lantern: A Fable About Leadership, Personal Excellence And Empowerment
- The Power To Succeed: 30 Principles For Maximizing Your Personal Effectiveness
-The Power To Succeed, Book II: More Principles For Powerful Living.
- Secrets Of Building A Million-Dollar Network-Marketing Organization From A Guy Who’s Been There Done That And Shows You How To Do It, Too.

His new book, Restore Your Magnificence: A Life-Changing Guide to Reclaiming Your Self-Esteem, published in April, 2003, is receiving international acclaim.

Dr Rubino is the CEO of The Center for Personal Reinvention, an organization committed to the personal excellence and empowerment of all people. He reinvented his own life to become a leading personal development and success coach, transitioning from a successful 16-year career as a dental practitioner to pursue his passion of championing people to excel. He has impacted the lives of more than 500,000 people through personal and leadership development. Dr. Rubino was featured on the cover of Success Magazine in December of 1995 and in their cover story for his ability to impact people’s lives. He is a certified success coach in life planning technology and the co-developer of the life-changing course, Conversations for Success, a program that provides participants with the tools to maximize their self-esteem, productivity and personal effectiveness with others. As a retired dentist and former owner of a successful multi-specialty dental practice, he is also a national lecturer on dental practice management, productivity enhancement and trust-based relationship and team building. He currently serves on the advisory boards of a number of multi-million dollar international corporations. He is widely published, having authored more than 160 articles in numerous professional and business publications. His vision is to personally impact the lives of twenty million people to be their best and to shift the paradigm around resignation - that is, that anyone can affect positive change in their own lives and in the lives of others - if they believe they can.