Sunday, August 16, 2009

Part 8: Habit 2- Beginning with the End in Mind

The subtitle of this habit is, "Control your own destiny or someone else will." Beginning with the end in mind means developing a clear picture of who you want to be and what you want to do in life. It is not only talking about what you want to leave as a legacy 30 or 40 years from now. It is thinking about what you intend to to tomorrow and deciding what direction you want to go with your life and the necessary steps to take you in the right direction. It means getting into the driver's seat and determining where you want to go and how you are going to get there.

People do this all the time. They use recipes to cook and bake, draw up blueprints to build things, use maps (online maps) to show them the best way to get to a destination and create an outline when writing a research paper. Most people have an image of how they would want to look or be perceived by friends, family and teachers. To create that image, they have an end result in mind. They look at magazines, newpapers, the internet and celebrities to get a picture of how they want to look. They may watch movies, listen to certian kind sof music and go to certain events to get a feel for how they want to walk, talk and act. This is beginning with the end in mind. It is using one's imagination to come up with a desired result; a destination, if you will, of who they will be.

You can evaluate who you have been and what you have done this past week or past year. What perceptions have you left in people's minds? Did you have any conscience goals? What have you accomplished? How do you feel about yourself? How would other's describe who you are? What would other's say is most important to you? You cannot change what you have done inthe past. You can change what you do in the future.

Use your imagination and visualize yourself a year from now.

  • What have you done with your life over the past year?

  • How do you feel inside?

  • What do you look like?

  • What have you accomplished?

  • What characteristics do you possess?

The 7 Habits training uses a quote from Alice's Adventure in Wonderland to make the point in knowing where you want to go,

"Would you tell me please which way I ought to walk from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," says the Cat.
"I don't much care where-" said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way to walk," said the Cat.

Many people do not see themselves as responsible for where they are going in life. They do not have a specific destination in mind. So, they live life at the mercy of others, whether it is whatever pop culture is promoting that week, pressure they feel from there friends, family, youth group or favorite TV show. They may think they are in control of their destiny, but it is being directed by outside influences.

So, if it is important to have the end in mind, how do you do it? The training says to create a personal mission statement. It may be short or long, poems or songs, but one thing it must be - it must be from you.

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