Begin with the end in mind is habit number 2 in Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. We must have the end in mind in order to successfully navigate your goals.
It is unlikely that we would start building a house without a plan or at the very least a rough draft of design ideas. Why should our lives be any different?
If we do not consciously have a plan for our lives, we give the power to shape our lives to other people and other circumstances. Instead of being the hammer, we become the nail being forced into whatever someone else’s will or the force of other circumstances desires.
So how do we begin with the end in mind? We construct a personal mission statement. A blueprint for the building of our lives so that we are the hammer.
To start a personal mission statement, we must carefully, deeply examine what values, beliefs, and morals are. What is it that we want our lives to truly represent?
To fully understand that question, we must look very carefully at all the roles we play in life. There are many and over time they also change. A personal mission statement will also change based on the roles we are filling at the time. Some of those roles might be spouse, parent, child, sibling, entrepreneur, employee, writer, teacher, counselor, friend, etc. Whatever roles you fill in all aspects of your life.
Now take those roles and find the five most important ones in our lives at the moment, and this can change as time goes on. Write out what values we want those five roles to embody. The highest-level purpose for each one. The things we would want the people affected by those roles to say about us when we are dead. Be idealistic but always focused on aligning each role with our values, beliefs, and morals.
Refine each one, make them simple and concise. Do that for each of the top five roles currently. Put them together in one document and this results in our personal mission statement.
Review it frequently, daily actually. When making big decisions for our lives and when planning out our week. Do the things we are doing and planning align with our mission statement for our defined roles currently? Or are they being shaped by other people and circumstances? Do they align with our defined values and the end that we have in mind?
Keep a copy available to you at all times. Take a photo of it and have it on your phone so that it can be referred to whenever you need. Print it out and have it where you can see it every single day as a reminder to check your alignment.
Remember it is okay and necessary to amend your personal mission statement as time goes on. Roles change, new roles may appear (grandparent, retiree, etc.), different milestones are accomplished. Attune yourself to where you are in every moment and what roles are your highest priority and amend your mission statement accordingly.
In creating your personal mission statement and utilizing it daily, you become the leader and builder of your life. It is you who create your destiny and you who is working toward the future that you want.
Begin with the end in mind, every day.
Until next time, be well,