Begin with the end in mind

At a recent meeting, everyone was all fired up about the ideas and plans we’d discussed. Yes, it’s great when you’re passionate about what you do, and you can’t wait to get started! But at the same time, before we embark on a new venture, it’s important to remind ourselves:

Begin with the end in mind

“Begin with the end in mind”.

This quote is the second habit from Stephen Covey’s best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It means before we start anything, we must have a clear vision of our direction and destination.

Do you know where you’re going, or where exactly you want to be? If you don’t, how will you get there?

Figure out what your goals are, and make sure they’re clear and tangible. Focus on the outcome you want to happen. When you clearly define the end result, it’s easier to work for it, work towards it, and recognise if you’re on the right path.

The story of the two bricklayers is a good example: both men essentially perform the same task, yet when asked what they do, one man replies, “I lay bricks”, while the other declares, “I build cathedrals”.

See the difference? The bricklayer, without passion and a vision for his work, ends up merely laying bricks. The other bricklayer has a goal to someday create a great structure, and the belief that he will achieve it!

Laying bricks vs. building cathedrals

Having the resources to achieve a goal is something people naturally worry about. But the wonderful thing is when you’re focused on the outcome, you will find ways to get there. You’ll ask what can be done to access those resources, and you won’t stop until you figure out a solution.

On the other hand, people who don’t have clear goals tend to look only at the tools they already have in hand. Without the end game, it’s hard to find the means and motivation to get there.

What are your goals? How do you remind yourself of what you’re working towards?


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