“To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.
It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap, in the busy-ness of life, to work harder and harder at climbing the ladder of success only to discover it’s leaning against the wrong wall. It is possible to be busy—very busy—without being very effective.
People often find themselves achieving victories that are empty, successes that have come at the expense of things they suddenly realize were far more valuable to them. People from every walk of life—doctors, academicians, actors, politicians, business professional, athletes, and plumbers—often struggle to achieve a higher income, more recognition or a certain degree of professional competence, only to find that their drive to achieve their goal blinded them to the things that really mattered most and now are gone.
How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and, keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most. If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster. We may be very busy, we may be very ‘efficient’, but we will also be truly ‘effective’ only when we begin with the end in mind.
If you carefully consider what you wanted to be said of you in the funeral experience, you will find your definition of success. It may be very different from the definition you thought you had in mind. Perhaps fame, achievement, money or some of the other things we strive for are not even part of the right wall.
When you begin with the end in mind, you gain a different perspective. One man asked another on the death of a mutual friend, ‘How much did he leave?’ His friend responded, ‘He left it all’.”
This particular post is dear to my heart, and here’s why.
My military experience was critical in helping me understand my purpose in life; to ensure it was leaning against the right wall. Helping others succeed (those who wanted my help), and also helping by diminishing interference from managers/supervisors/executives, became my purpose driven life. I paid a high price, but not being true to my purpose would have been a higher price to pay. I’m thankful that I was surrounded, from birth to adulthood, with those who led value-driven, principle-centered lives.
Habit 2 Begin With The End In Mind,
Principles Of Personal Leadership,
All Things Are Created Twice