I was re-watching MadMen Season 4 to get ready for season 5, and in the last episode I was struck by a quote that I clearly missed the first time I watched the episode. Faye, after hearing about Don’s engagement tearfully tells him, he only likes “the beginnings of things.” It’s a pretty powerful statement. And it’s completely true. But, isn’t it true of many of us? There’s a certain excitement that comes from the beginning of things. At the beginning, it’s new, it’s fresh…there’s that bit of the unknown that keeps us hooked and leaning forward.
But, what happens when it’s no longer new? What happens when it’s not the start, but it’s the middle, the end or somewhere in between. What happens when the newness wears off. What happens when it all becomes familiar, when we’ve cracked the code and what was new is now the routine?
How, do you make the what’s old, feel like the how it did at the beginning? I’ll give you the answer; it’s actually quite simple: make sure whatever the “thing” is, is worth your long term interest. Don’t pick a job, pick a career. Don’t leave the one you love for the one you like because the one you like will leave you for the one you love. Choose wisely and you won’t be Don Draper, only being great at the beginning of things.