#219 Begin with the End in Mind

Habit #2 of Highly Effective People

In our last +1, we talked about Stephen Covey’s Habit #1: Be Proactive. How? Be response-able. Step into the gap between stimulus and response and choose the optimal response.

Let’s continue the theme and have fun with a quick tour through all 7 of Covey’s Habits, shall we?

Habit #2 of Highly Effective People? Begin with the End in Mind.

So, once we move from being reactive to being proactive, we realize we aren’t victims. We’re creators. Which, naturally, begs the question: What do we want to create?

For that, we must “Begin with the End in Mind.”

Covey tells us that everything is created twice: once in our mind and once in reality. Highly effective people get this and take the time to figure out what they actually want.

Less-than-effective people? Well, they just let themselves go with the flow of life and, as Covey puts it, often find themselves working hard climbing the ladder of life only to reach the top and realize they’re on the wrong building. (Eek.)


What do you want?

If you could wave your wand and create your ideal life (within the constraints of reality) what would it look like?

Tomorrow? This year? In 2 years? 5 years? 10 years? 25 years?

Remember the eulogy exercise from a few +1s ago? That’s actually where Covey starts. Begin with the ULTIMATE end in mind—the end of your life. Imagine what you hope people will say about you and then live with those virtues NOW.

Today’s +1.

Step back from the ladder-climbing for a moment. Let’s begin with the end in mind and make sure we’re on the right building.

What are you trying to create in your life? What really matters?

And, as important: What DOESN’T matter? What needs to go?

Be proactive. Begin with the end in mind. Be effective.

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