Begin with the End in Mind

Last summer I read Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I got the book through a book club at work and it sounded very self helpy. Once I started reading it I realized there was nothing quick about it. These habits would take a lifetime to master and by doing them your life would be better.

The second habit is “begin with the end in mind”. The book asks you to imagine your funeral and what you hope that people would say there. What kind of live would you want to life? This can feel a bit overwhelming to most people. How could I plan my whole life now? It’s not about planning your whole life. It’s about thinking of a destination to start heading in. If you want to get married and have kids, you don’t stay home not talking to anyone. Trust me, she won’t just show up on your doorstep one day.

No. You have to start meeting people. Dating. Engagement. Marriage. Honeymoon. Get pregnant. Have a baby. Married with kids is the destination. It takes thousands of literal and figurative steps to get from here to there. The big goals take time. Months and years.

This can be very discouraging. We live in an instant gratification culture. Most people don’t plan beyond breakfast. Then they wonder why they don’t have a better job or better relationships or more money or you fill in the blank. What do you wish would be different? What is your destination?

When you prepare to build a house you draw up blueprints. Even before that you imagine. You begin with the end in mind. You imagine in your head where you want to go then you draw it up.

Where do you want to go? Don’t worry about how you are going to get there. Dream today and be practical tomorrow. You got to be excited or you won’t do the hard work.

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