Begin with the End in Mind

Continuing with Stephen Covey’s paradigms, I wish to offer what he calls the habit of ‘Beginning with the End in Mind’.

He stated: “As you read this think about your goals. What are some of the small promises you can keep right now to help lead you towards achieving them? Do your goals help connect you to a deeper purpose? The third habit putting first things first takes tremendous willpower, I would start very very small with some very small thing that you know you can accomplish but still tests you a little. Make a promise, keep it. Then a little larger promise. You make it, keep it. You make it, keep it. A succession of such promises. made and kept will gradually begin to change your nature, until your sense of honor becomes greater than your moods and your no longer a function of your moods or your feelings. Youʼre instead a function of your commitments, your promise making, or your goal selection. And that is an exhilarating thing once you start to realize, I truly am the creative force in my life. Or you may find that, the deeper problem is that you donʼt have a deep sense of purpose in your life, A deep sense of reason for being, and you need to connect to that. You may find that the real problem is not the lack of discipline, itʼs the lack of habit two. Youʼre not beginning with the end in mind. You havenʼt paid enough attention to what is really meaningful to you. Because once youʼve done that you start to tap into will power in unbelievable ways and habit three may be just an absolute natural thing that follows the full completion of habit two. Because the tendency like on that sugar fast, is the people that got into it, chocoholic kind of spirit. They just wanted chocolate one way or another They just held back, and they didnʼt do it. And you canʼt believe what they said to each other in their small groups. The feeling of excitement they had about their confidence towards themselves and their ability to do other things and how that expanded their horizon that literally enabled them to break with their history, to break with their family history, to break with even genetic tendencies. Whatʼs fascinating is to study people who have genetically that is built into their genes, these tendencies towards certain diseases you know? To see how they learn to manage those diseases. And they can do it. But they have to use this power of choice, they have to exercise their initiative and use those four unique endowments and it also needs to be connected. Iʼll tell you what, youʼll find it is connected, even if you donʼt think it is. It will affect your mind, your heart, and your spirit, it will expand you. Itʼll enlarge your understanding of life, your sympathyʼs towards life. Itʼll enlarge the goals you set in your life. All of this represents this private victory.

There was a young man who was involved in a drinking and driving accident and he was the driver. He woke up in the hospital and his friends told him that he had been involved in this terrible accident where his friend was killed. He had to go to jail for manslaughter. Imagine what his life was like. It broke up his marriage, it disrupted his friends. His friendships with other people, everything was affected in his life. Then he got ahold of this material Iʼm talking to you about. That deals with the body, the mind, the heart, and the spirit. They plea bargained from 30 years to 10 years. That means he had to spend 10 years in jail. But by this time, the time he went to jail actually and his wife had separated from him, he started setting goals. starting with simple things. he became an active person with some of the top officials of the jail in cleaning their rooms and so forth. He got their confidence, little by little his small circle of influence, which was very small initially, started to increase and increase and increase to where he saw a lot of children would come in on visiting days with their mothers or fathers and they didnʼt have anything to do. And he began to have influence with this jail-keepers with the officials and he got them persuaded to setup a kind of an area where children could play and have fun, and have books, and where parents could sit and read to their kids. And establish a normal relationship with their kids, even though one of the parent was in jail. This is what happened, and then little by little, his wife began to see the impact of this and she wanted to come back to the marriage which she did. But he was still in jail, for 10 years. Then he went to a halfway house where he could go out and do things in the community. So he set bigger goals, he would go to different schools and speak to them about drinking and driving. And he influenced perhaps hundreds maybe ultimately, indirectly, thousands and thousands of people then he would have to go back to jail at night. Then he would go back out on another assignment, he began to be used by all kinds of people. Why? He used his four unique gifts. He was self-aware, he wasnʼt a product of his past. He wasnʼt a product of peopleʼs opinions of him. He became his personal creator, his personal manager. He became the leader of his own life. He won the private victory. While he was in that jail his own company which was motorcycle business, very, very successful burned down. And he felt really depressed, by this time, he had so influenced the people around him that they affirmed what he had been teaching them. That his parents would re-build that company he started it initially, and that he would learn and that they would learn and that things were not lost they werenʼt as, even though he was in a state of depression at that time, he came out of it rapidly so he could deal with these setbacks. I mean, hereʼs a prisoner who changes the prison. Makes it possible for parents to spend time with their kids, play with them, having toys there, having go volunteers to give. Books there, a library. Then he started influencing all these kids in high school, jr. high, not to drink and drive. Heʼd go out and do this kind of work. Why? But he became the creative force in his own life. Thatʼs what youʼre capable of doing. Now that is really exciting. You get on this process and you think through this framework of achieving this private victory maybe starting with some small goal, accomplishing it. Then a little larger one, accomplish it. Your whole world will explode with opportunity and excitement. Thatʼs what will happen to you.”


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