If you don’t know where you’re going to, then whatever direction you take is the
What does it mean to Begin with the End in Mind?
- Like using a map, it means starting with a clear understanding of your destination –
where you want to go – to ensure that you are always in the right direction.
- If you don’t have an end in mind, someone or something else will do it for you.
Most times, we just go with the flow. But, if we choose to just go with the flow, we
will end up where the flow goes, which is usually nowhere.
Begin with the End in Mind is based on the principle that all things are created twice:
The first creation is the mental creation, and the second one is the physical creation.
We must first visualize in our mind before we can physically create.
Let’s take for example the construction of the Chancellor’s and Vice Chancellor’s
Before constructing, we first have to have an idea of how the offices/building would
look like. We need to picture where we want to put the following:
- Office for each unit
- Room for each unit head
- Cubicles/spaces for each staff
- Pantry for each office
- Wash room, Conference Room
- A corridor
Then, we draw a blueprint of how the building would look like considering the rooms
and spaces. In this blueprint, we have to indicate the types of materials we need (e.g.
glass for the doors, aircon, tables, chairs, cubicles, etc.) and the measurements.
We also have to plan the network connection. What do we need?
After drawing the blueprint, we can then go to the actual construction with
references to the blueprint.
If we had gone to the actual construction without the blueprint, we are sure to get
lost. We will not know what we need. It’s like completing a puzzle without knowing
the whole picture.
If we don’t have the blueprint of our lives, other people will design our lives for us.
Habit 2 is based on the principles of personal leadership.
Leadership first, Management second.
Management focuses on how to best accomplish certain things while leadership
focuses on the question: what are the things I want to accomplish?
Envision a group of producers cutting their way through a jungle. They're the
producers, the problem solvers. They're cutting through the undergrowth, clearing it
The managers are behind them, sharpening their machetes, writing policy and
procedure manuals, holding muscle development programs, bringing in improved
technologies, and setting up working schedules and compensation programs for
The leader is the one who climbs the tallest tree, surveys the entire situation, and
yells, "Wrong jungle!" But how do the busy, efficient producers and managers often
respond? "Shut up! We're making progress.“
We are often so busy climbing the ladder of success that we never take time to see if
our ladder is leaning against the right wall. It’s like working really hard for something
only to find out that when you’re done with it, it feels empty inside.
The most effective way to Begin with the End in Mind is to have a personal mission
statement. It is like putting a shape to your principles. It will help you realize what’s
really important to you. If you have a personal mission statement, it wouldn’t be too
difficult to make decisions because you have a solid base. With a personal mission
statement, you can deal with changes in your life.
Take two to three minutes to think about your personal mission statement.
Personal mission statements can be a collection of quotes (or just one quote). You
may also think about what your principles are.
It doesn’t have to be too perfect.
If you have your mission statement, you may now set your goals. Goals are more
specific than a mission and can help you break down your mission into bite-sized
pieces. If your mission is to eat a whole pizza, your goal is to slice it up. To help you
get started, here are five keys to goal setting.
Key #1: Count the cost
If you want to achieve something, you have to be willing to make the sacrifice. “One-
half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up to get it.” – Sidney
For example, if you want to get rich, you must be willing to give up activities that
force you to spend too much money. You may have to give up buying the things you
want but not that necessary. You may have to work extra hours (or at least, not skip
Are you willing to make the sacrifice?
If not (or not yet), it may be better to set your goal to something that would be easier
for you. For example, if you are not yet willing to give up your “gimmicks” so you can
cut off your budget, then instead of aiming to get rich, then at least aim to save for
something (eg save for Xmas, etc.). And then, if you are ready, you can then take your
goal to the next level.
After counting the cost, consider the benefits. What could getting richer bring you?
Sense of accomplishment? Able to buy more things? Ability to help others?
Key #2: Put it in writing
If you have identified your goals, it would be wise to write it down so you can always
go back to it when you need a little reminding. You have to be specific of what you
want so that you have a clear picture of where you want to go to or what you want to
Remember: A goal not written is only a wish.
In writing your goals, you should also set a time table for your goals. Just make sure
that your time table is feasible, meaning that you can really achieve the deadline you
set for your goal.
Key #3: Just do it!
Do or do not there is no try. These are the words of the great Jedi Master Yoda.
No ifs and buts, just do it! Others would say, “Oh, time will come for that.” In reality,
time will not come to you. Nothing will happen if you just sit down and wait. If you
want to go for something, you should start now.
Key #4: Use Momentous Moments
There are moments in life that contain momentum and power. Learn to harness the
power of these moments in your goal setting.
Most people use the new year as a key moment in goal setting, but you may use
other key moments such as break-up, new job/promotion, birth of a baby and many
“Learn to harness the power of key moments, to set goals and make commitments
when you are in the mood to do it. Be assured, as well, that the mood to do it will
pass. Sticking with it when you don’t feel like it is the true test of your character.”
Key #5: Rope up.
Have you noticed what mountain climbers do to ensure their safety when they climb
mountains? They tie themselves together with ropes to help them in climbing. This
will also ensure that if one of them slips, the others would can still pull the ropes so
the “slipper” will not entirely fall.
It is much the same in life. You’ll accomplish more if you work others or “rope up” in
achieving your goal. You don’t have to be a big group. Two “ropers” will do. For
example, you may find a friend who you can ask to remind you of your goals. Or you
may have the same goals and work together.