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Graceful Endings, Graceful New Beginnings

When it came time for me to give notice at the university where I worked, my father sat me down for a (Sunday-morning) pep talk. I wasn't too thrilled. At least he didn't ask me to go for a drive.

So I sat down across from Jim DeLapa and I listened. And when I saw the love and wisdom in everything he was saying, my heart softened a little.

My dad encouraged me to set up a private meeting with my boss, share my decision, and pledge my full cooperation. As opposed to serving him papers?

I didn't say that.

But I did take my dad's advice—and the meeting with my boss, while not easy, wrapped up with a sincere handshake and respect on both sides. In fact soon after I left, my former employer hired me for a handful of assignments, including one-on-one training with my successor.

More importantly, I'm still reaping the rewards of my father's advice: an ending I can live with, readers of this Pep Talk, and friendships that mean more to me now than they did ten-plus years ago.

Where is it time for you to say goodbye?

Maybe it's with your employer, a volunteer role, or something more personal than either of these. When life does call you to say goodbye—whether you're the one initiating it or not—go out of your way to make the ending graceful.

How? By placing yourself in the other person's shoes. Going beyond I didn't mean to hurt you to I did my best to look out for you.

As best you can, leave good tracks. The ending you create today will be the launching pad for your brand new beginning. Make it a platform you'll be proud to stand on.

The ending you create today will be the launching pad for your brand new beginning.

Gina DeLapa

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Gina DeLapa is America's Ultimate Reminders® Coach, a sought-after speaker, and the proud creator of the Ultimate Reminders® book series. Her wise and witty reminders ("Beware the organization whose response to a burning building is to form a committee") will make you laugh, stir your soul, and inspire your best. If you're not already getting her free Monday-Morning Pep Talk, be sure to sign up now at