At the beginning of the chapter the author asks us to do an exercise. To imagine we come to our own funeral three years from now and listen to people speak about us. The aim is to imagine what we want them to say to realize what is important to us. I tried to do it three or four times and have no idea what I want them to say. Most of what comes to my mind is such a cliche. Try it!
And now key points of beginning with the end in mind:
- make the end of your life as your frame of reference
- start with a clear understanding of your destination
- lean the ladder against the right wall so every step doesn’t get you faster to the wrong place
- all things are created twice, first creation is mental, second physical so imagine/visualize what you want to achieve before acting (yes a nit of NLP here)
- we are either the second creation of our own proactive design, or we are the second creation of other people people’s agendas, of circumstances, or of past habits, so write your own mission statement and make decisions in accordance to it, think long – term, get perspective
- the key to the ability to change is a changeless sense of who you are, what you are about and what you value
It is incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap, in the busy-ness of life (…) People often find themselves achieving victories that are empty, successes that have come at the expense of things they suddenly realize were far more valuable to them.
Being afraid of achieving goals in case we find out they were the wrong goals. We worked on it in life coaching training session. We also asked ourselves what we want to achieve and what is topping us from doing so. Let’s say it’s lack of self confidence. A hard one. Where does one get the confidence from? Achievements? Sure but from my own experience I know how easy it is to undermine the achievements and say “other achieved more” or “I could do better”. Where doe this inner conviction that I can be successful, loved and happy comes from?
Well try to think: “how will I know when I’m self confident?” the first answer that comes to my mind is “I will feel it” so “what will you feel exactly?” “Calm, joy, reconciliation, contentment…” “Brilliant, so what needs to happen for you to feel calm?” and so on…
According to Covey :
Whatever is at the center of our life will be the source of our security, guidance, wisdom and power.
Security represents your sense of worth, your identity, your emotional anchorage, your self-esteem, your basic personal strenght or lack of it.
Guidance means your source of direction in life. Encompassed by your map, your internal frame of reference that interprets for your what is happening out there, are standards or principles or implicit criteria that govern moment by moment decision-making and doing.
Wisdom is your perspective on life, your sense of balance, your understanding of how the various parts and principles apply and relate to each other. It embraces judgment, discernment, comprehension. It is a gestalt or oneness, an integrated wholeness.
Power is the faculty or capacity to act, the strength and potency to accomplish something. It is the vital energy to make choices and decisions. It also includes the capacity to overcome deeply embedded habits and to cultivate higher, more effective ones.
So the deal is: you get to know your values and write them down as a mission statement. This is your center, the things that are important to you. Now you know what is important and you also know that every decision that you make brings you to achieving it and so you have more security, guidance, wisdom and power (higher self-esteem)
So does it work?