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Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind

The second of the 7 Habits, is to “Begin With The End In Mind.” This habit is exactly what it sounds like and can be extremely beneficial in life whether you are in class, in a certain situation or playing a sport.

To “Begin With The End In Mind” simply means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. On the website for Dr. Covey which includes information on the book,https://www.stephencovey.com/7habits.php, it gives an overview of what the second habit means.

“Begin with the End in Mind” means to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination, and then continue by flexing your proactive muscles to make things happen.”

Often times, people think what is important to be successful is to make lots of money, be the best athlete, or be the most popular person. But this is where people go wrong and eventually, when reaching their goals, they find little fulfilment in their accomplishment. It all goes back to the beginning and where the ladder you intend on climbing to your goal is leaning against the right wall.

In the book, Covey asks you to envision a funeral and all the people there are your family and friends grieving. Imagine you are making your way to the casket and inside you see yourself, it is your funeral that you’re at. Next, Covey asks you to imagine what your close friends and family might have to say about you. After that think of whether or not what you had envisioned them saying was what you would have liked them to say.

The purpose of that exercise is to think about how people might regard you in your absence and see if that matches up to what
see yourself as being.

Once you have established what you want to focus on your “blueprint” to see if that matches your principles and how you are carrying them out. Covey talks about how everything is either a first creation or a creation, meaning that everything is created twice. The carpenter’s rule is “measure twice, cut once.” The way we act is either by “default”, second creations, meaning that we are conditioned by others and the environment or we act by “design”, first creation, meaning we live by our own “blueprint”.

By becoming your first creator you can begin with the end in mind when thinking of relationships, sports or while studying. Being the first creator is based on imagination, with that imagination you must have the ability to envision in your mind what you want to see in the future that you can’t presently see. By envisioning what you can’t see you are putting the end in mind and how you see yourself getting to that end.

“If you don’t make a conscious effort to visualize who you are and what you want in life, then you empower other people and circumstances to shape you and your life by default.”

Now on a personal level, Covey recommends creating a personal mission statement. The mission statement sets out what is important to you and how you set out to be the person you want to be in all areas of your life. Your personal mission statement acts as your plan for success.

“Your mission statement makes you the leader of your own life. You create your own destiny and secure the future you envision.”

When you take these steps you are enabling yourself to become the best version of yourself and to identify what you want to be or do and being or doing it. Beginning with the end in mind gives a clear path of how to get to that end and helps to make that path easier to navigate. With a personal mission statement you are able to write out and define who you are and have a stable written standard to live up to. Keep in mind your mission statement is permanent, you are able to change it when needed, but ultimately to begin with the end in mind you are able to see where you want to be and figure out how to get there.

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