Gifted Adults – the Never-Finish-What-You-Started Syndrome?

Please have a look at this article, which tells you why gifted people see accomplishing tasks in another light than not gifted ones.

Gifted Adults Puzzle of the World

Gifted Adults, You Don’t Have to Finish What You Start!


By Sonia Dabboussi





Gifted adults have interests in so many things they often find themselves getting caught in the never-finish-what-you-started syndrome. They begin somewhere around 1000 projects, or so it seems, and never really reach the end of any of them. Then, of course, they duly proceed to beat themselves up about this, reminding themselves of how totally unsuccessful they are, AGAIN, because one more thing is left undone.


But there is good news…


You don’t have to finish what you start!!


Well, sort of.


For many people, finishing something means following it through to completion. But for the gifted person this actually has a whole different meaning. They follow things through to completion, just not the same kind of completion as everyone else.


Did I confuse you yet?


For gifted adults, learning new things is often one of their top priorities. Because learning in and of itself is so important, finishing something for a gifted person can be as simple as completing the learning to the level they wanted, even if that means leaving a task undone.


Think of a puzzle. One without a box. What is this for someone who’s gifted? A super-duper wonderful challenge just begging to be accepted! The puzzle needs to be put together, but there’s no way to tell what it’s a picture of until they start doing it.


So the gifted adult starts putting the pieces together, one by one, until the image begins to take shape. Then, in one miraculous instant they figure out the picture the puzzle makes! They’re so happy – they’ve beaten the challenge. And I’m sure somewhere they’re probably thinking something like, “Well I beat that, now didn’t I? It was so much fun to do this without any hints anywhere!”


What comes next? They walk away from the puzzle with the remaining pieces scattered on the table. And they never come back to it. Family members or friends look at the unfinished work and ask when it will be done. The gifted person doesn’t really know. When they get around to it, they say.


But of course they never get around to it because they’ve already finished what they set out to do – to figure out the picture on the puzzle. What does it look like to everyone else? Unfinished business, AGAIN.


What is it for the gifted adult? A goal reached.


So if you find yourself starting many things and leaving a lot of them undone, start paying attention to the point at which you are stopping them. That will tell you when you’ve reached the goal you actually set for yourself, even if you weren’t sure what it was when you started. If you take note of these end point for a while, you’ll likely start being able to see what the big motivations are in your life. They will be the stopping points that repeat themselves over and over again. They may be things like the excitement of learning something new, the thrill of meeting a challenge, or the adventure of beating your own previous skill level or ability.


When you can tell why you quit when you do, then you’ll more easily be able to say to those who are quick to remind you of your unfinished business, “I’ve gotten exactly what I needed out of that, thank you. For me, it’s perfectly finished!”


Sonia Dabboussi is the founder of Gifted for Life, a groundbreaking community of empowered gifted adults who maximize their unique abilities, sensitivities, experiences and insights to make a remarkable world impact.


For over a decade and a half, her diverse experience in academic and personal development through positions in education, educational administration and success coaching has led her to conduct seminars, workshops and one-on-one trainings for exceptional people in local, national and international regions.


She is a gifted adult.


To connect with gifted adults and other outstanding people at Gifted for Life, go to


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4 thoughts on “Gifted Adults – the Never-Finish-What-You-Started Syndrome?

  1. What a fantastic article! I laughed so much because it´s so true! I like learning new stuff very much, but then doing the same thing again and again -- that´s so boring! So where is the next interesting thing to learn…

  2. This is very recognizable. But this article gives me new hope. And new targets. I finally know why now.

  3. Excellent article! I know people like this and have found myself doing the same thing and never really understood why.

  4. I experienced this topic already a lot of times with myself in the past. But I learned how to get more accomplished in my life by just working on more difficult and interesting topics. They keep me longer going with them. Another solution I got good results with is to work in a team. While I do the -- mostly -- difficult start and main work I hand the topic over to a teammate who is very good at closing the topic. In this case we both win and this special issue with accomplishing tasks is more successful.

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