Hope you all are doing well. As mentioned in my last post I will talk about 7 habits which Stephen R. Covey has written about in his book, ‘The 7 Habits of highly effective people’ one by one. So today, I will talk about the second habit, ‘Begin with the end in mind’.
Imagine yourself on a treasure hunt in a jungle. You have a team full of efficient members, manager, who manages the team. You are making progress, busy with making plans to go forward, going fast, but suddenly you started having some doubts. So you climb up one of the tallest trees of the jungle and realize this is the wrong jungle. This is not the jungle where the treasure exists. Now let’s see this example in some other way. Let’s say that this wrong jungle is a quest you have been looking for, for example, a job promotion, an exam, or a car you wanted for so long, and after getting it you realize that this is not what you wanted.
In today’s world, we all are very busy, we keep on doing things, and we always want to make progress, but let’s take a moment and think, are you being effective too? Are you productive too, are you achieving your goals? We make a to-do list and make sure to tick off tasks from that but what if these tasks are not complimenting with our actual goals? Sometimes we all are moving fast but in the wrong direction, and that is the reason why we need to take a moment and think about our actual goals.
How to know what exactly are your goals?
To know what exactly your goals are, Stephen R. Covey suggested an activity. I suggest you guys do it too. Don’t just read please do this activity.
Imagine your funeral, yes, it may sound absurd, but imagine it. Now at your funeral imagine your family members saying good things about you. What do you want them to say? Do you want them to say that you were a good manager or you were very good at making money, or do you want your loved ones to say that you were a loving or caring person? Take your time and write your eulogy. Imagine that four people have to say something about you on your funeral, one from your family, the second speaker is one of your friends, the third speaker is from your work area and the fourth speaker is from one of your community organization. Now write it down what you want these four speakers to say. Now, these are your actual goals.
This is what means to begin with the end in mind, the second habit of Stephen R. Covey’s book ‘The 7 Habits of highly effective people’. Each part of your life, today’s behaviour, tomorrow’s behaviour, next week’s, next month’s all these will contribute to the whole picture of your life. No, your life won’t start when you will have money, or a job promotion, or when you will start travelling or anything which you thought will give you happiness. Your life is now, and you have to work in parts because these are the parts which contribute to the whole, the whole of your choice.
By keeping this end in your mind, you take certain steps and make sure you don’t take any such step which will affect the end in your mind. Your to-do list, your tasks should align perfectly with this end. Because this is the end which is your ultimate goal.
How to achieve your goals?
Now that you know your exact goals, we can move forward on our next step that is how to achieve them. Here are some tips which the author has given in the book:
- Rescripting: Imagine that you and your sibling are having an argument over an issue, let’s say, he has messed your side of the room too and you don’t like untidy room. In this kind of situation, what you usually do is shout at him, but this is becoming a hindrance in one of your values you stated in the funeral activity. And that value is being a caring and understanding brother. So what you can do instead of fighting which will make you an understanding brother? You have to think about it and rescript the whole situation first in your mind.
You have to imagine yourself in a situation where you are likely to lose your temper, and instead of your normal reaction, imagine your rescripted action. Imagine what you will say, what kind of facial expressions you will have, feel the emotions you would have in that situation. This way you will lose your ties with your past memories and will be able to live up to your values.
This is what the author meant by rescripting. Because of your self-awareness, you can examine if the script on which your living is in harmony with your deepest values or not. If yes, you are good to go, but if not, then you can always rescript your life using your imagination and conscience
2. Visualization: The book states
You can try it too, before any presentation, or any daily challenge of meeting a goal, imagine it. Imagine the challenge clearly, vividly, again and again, in this way you will create an ‘internal comfort zone’. And when it will finally happen the situation won’t scare you
3. Writing a Personal Mission Statement: This is one of the most talked about thing in this chapter of the book. According to the author, this is one of the easiest ways to incorporate the second habit in your life. A personal mission statement is like your personal constitution, an expression of your vision and values. It will become a tool through which you will measure all the criterions of your life.
A personal mission statement clearly talks about your roles and goals of these roles. The roles you want to play in your life, and the goals which you want to fulfil. Through these roles and goals, you will get to know about values which are important in your life. And reading it from time to time will remind you of the ultimate goals of your life.
This way you won’t get just be busy in completing your to-do list, but you will be effective and doing tasks which will help you in achieving your goals.
In the book, the author has also talked about family mission statements and organizational mission statements too. You can read the book to get more insight into this.
And with this, I will end this long post of summarizing the second habit mentioned in the book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. You can also read my post on 1st habit, that is ‘Be Proactive’ here.
I hope you find this post useful. I would suggest you read the book if you want to get more insight into this. I will see you in the next post, till then keep celebrating life.