Begin with the end in mind!

Begin with the end in mind!

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey Reread

Habit Two:  Begin With The End In Mind

The second habit in Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is ‘Begin With The End In Mind’.  This translates to understanding what is really important to you and work to achieve that, rather than a single destination.  Reflecting on who I am, some of the scripts I use to direct my day-to-day behavior I adopted from my parents. To an extent, I absorbed those scripts as I formed my Parent Ego State, therefore I have become what I am by default rather than by explicit design. To a greater or lesser extent our long term mission is shaped either by accepting scripts by default or by trying to shape how we behave and act.

You can control the direction of your life if you can step back and take the time to reflect on what really matters to you.  Reject being controlled by default and instead follow your own mission.  Covey points out that it is possible to take control because we have an imagination and a conscience.

Imagination gives us the ability to conceive of things that haven’t happened yet. Visualizing the future means that we are not governed by what we know and can remember, but rather but what we can conceive of happening.  This is the first step towards achieving our goals and developing a mission statement that allows us to predict and then create a future.  At the beginning of 2013, I decided that blogging on a daily basis would allow me to develop the materials needed to self-publish a book on Agile and process improvement in 2014.  This was not something I had ever done, therefore had to be able to imagine completing before I was able to commit to delivering.

Having a conscience ensures that the future we envision and seek to create is governed by our values.  Values sit at the center of our circle of influence.  Covey suggests that everyone has a center that is comprised of our most basic paradigm. It is the filter through which we interpret the world around us.  This center is the anchor for our circle of influence, as we act on our values, our influence expands.

Developing a personal mission statement provides a map so that we can imagine not only where we’re going, but also who we really are. It is a reflection of our ability to imagine the future and to have goals.  Combining our imagination with conscience allows us to proactively change our trajectory based on the plan.  Beginning with the end in mind means you can be more intentional with your path to do and be more.