Habit 2: BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND

Lessons from the book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Let’s start by answering these questions. What do you want to be said concerning you at your funeral? What kind of parent, colleague, child, friend and partner do you want to be described as?

Answering this sincerely will give you an idea as to how to live now. It helps you figure out the vision you want to have for your life as a whole.

Here are a few other things I learnt from this chapter of the book.

  • Be Effective: Understand that it is possible to be very busy without being effective. What you need to check is not how busy you are but how much your activities each day has contributed in a meaningful way to the vision you have.
  • All things are created twice; there’s a first a mental creation and then the physical creation takes place. If you learn to consciously design the first creation, then you live out the second creation as you want it. If you don’t, then you reactively live out the scripts handed to you by others. Become your own first creator.
  • Know that there’s a difference between Management and Leadership. “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Effectiveness depends on both!
  • Have a Personal Mission Statement: Developing a PERSONAL MISSION STATEMENT that focuses on what you want to be, to do and the values upon which you want to do them is the most effective way to begin with the end in mind. However, you don’t write a mission statement overnight. It takes deep introspection, careful analysis, thoughtful expressions and many rewrites to produce it in its final form. However, once you do, you then have a sense of mission about what you’re trying to do and you’re excited about it.

Define the important roles in your life.

Write your mission statement in terms of them.

What goals are you working on?

What are the plans to achieve these goals?

  • Work with Principles: Principles always have natural consequences attached to them. There are positive consequences when we live in harmony with the principles and negative ones when we ignore them. And the more we know of correct principles, the greater is our personal freedom to act wisely. So be a principled-centered person!
  • Learn Visualizing : See it, feel it and experience it before you actually do it. Expand your mind. Involve as many senses as you can. This way you begin with the end in mind.

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