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Begin With the End in Mind

So, what do you want to be when you grow up? That question may appear a little trite, but think about it for a moment. Are you already who you want to be? What do you dream you could be? What have you always wanted to do?

People often find themselves achieving successes that are not exactly how they wanted their successes to be, as these successes come at the expense of things that were more valuable. Stephen Covey states that by beginning with the end in mind, you set out a clear direction for your path to the successes that you really want to achieve.

What does ‘Beginning With the End in Mind’ means?

Beginning with the end in mind is based on the principle that all things are created twice. There is a mental (first) creation, and a physical (second) creation. Habit 2 is based on the mental (first) creation: the ability to envision in your mind what you cannot see with your eyes. Take the construction of a home, for example. Houses are first created in every detail before even a nail is hammered physically into place. To get a very clear sense and image of the type of house that is wanted or needed, people will have to work with their minds. So basically, it is essential to start mentally and begin with the end in mind, before you decide to physically act.   

Why have a Personal Mission Statement?

By taking control of our own mental (first) creation we can (re-)write our own scripts in a Mission Statement, and thereby take responsibility for the outcome. If you don’t make a conscious effort to visualize who you are and what you want in life, then you empower other people and circumstances to shape you and your life by default. Writing a mission statement is about connecting with your own talents and then defining personal, moral, and ethical guidelines within which you can best express and fulfill yourself. ‘Begin with the End in Mind’ means starting each day with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination, and then  being proactive in order to make these plans happen.

Building your Personal Mission Statement

One of the best ways to ‘Begin with the End in Mind’ is by writing your Personal Mission Statement. A Mission Statement is your personal plan for success and focuses on what you want to be and do. Instead of deciding every little detail of the future, a Mission Statement reaffirms who you are and brings your goals into focus. In developing your Personal Mission Statement, you can use your creative ability to imagine life milestones in your career and personal life by asking yourself: ‘what accomplishments would I like to celebrate?’. To make your Personal Mission Statement easier to work with in daily life, you can break it down into the specific roles you have in life (e.g. colleague, fellow student, friend, etc). Take the time to work on your Personal Mission Statement and do not hesitate to ask others for tips and tricks, because they can help you with the fine-tuning of your Mission Statement.

Keep up-to-date

Remember that the Personal Mission Statement that you’ve developed does not necessarily have to be the same your entire life, as changes in your life could influence your desired direction and destination. Keeping your Personal Mission Statement up-to-date, by reflecting on it and re-writing it, is essential to continue working proactively on your life goals.

Good luck with writing your Personal Mission Statement! And do you have any questions or would you like to share your experiences? Don’t hesitate to contact us! 



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