Habit Two: Begin with the End in Mind

Starting at the end is a method that has been used in critical thinking and problem solving for generations. Very smart and successful people like Richard Feynman and Charlie Munger refer to this as “Inversion” when it comes to problem solving. And when we look at designing our lives, we need to consider the fact that it is actually a problem that needs a solution.

By starting at the end, we’re able to better identify those areas in which we are currently lacking – to see what needs to change for us to start “living the dream”. But for many of us, we may not believe we have the level of control required to work with this kind of tool. But if we are able to recall, Habit One asks us to be proactive and take control of what we’re able to, rather than looking for excuses about why things are the way they are.

If you work in a job, you may feel powerless to change your situation. Your employer has employed you to fulfill certain obligations or duties, and that’s what you’re there to do. Your manager is there to ensure you do them consistently, and that you don’t spend all your time reading WordPress articles on how effective you could be if you were working.

But the truth is that you are in that role because you chose it. You’re there because you CAN be. And that gives you power. Do the work required, but don’t ignore the opportunity you have to influence your business and your workplace.

By now, you should be all fired up because you’ve achieved the impossible and created that mythical 8th day of the week (if you’ve been able to get yourself moving 60 minutes earlier each day), and you’ve been using that to train your mind and body into a potent weapon.

The best part of this is that the extra day you created is JUST FOR YOU. It’s not for your boss, your kids, or anyone else – it’s there for you to take control of your life and build something amazing.

So what are you going to do with this newfound power?

Dream.

What is your perfect day? Not your perfect holiday, but a day where you have provided real value to people you care about. A day where you have contributed to something meaningful, beautiful or even eternal?

Imagine.

What could your legacy be if you actually lived like that? How could your family exist in the future because of your efforts here and now? How many lives could be changed (or even saved) in part because of your work?

Be Inspired.

Because the rest of it is hard work. You’re not living that life now, because you aren’t ready for it. So take a breath, and realize that you CAN do the impossible, but you may need some more time to get there.

Consider the tools, the skills, the networks and the resources you’d need to live that dream life. Look at what you have in your hand today. And chart your course, because you’re already on your way – so you’d better start steering soon!

Keep your dream alive, feed it every day. Add it to your morning routine – envision it. Write it down. Draw it. Let it inspire you. You have opportunities every day to step towards it, but you’ve got to see them. And you’ve got to be willing to become the person who lives those dreams, not the person who just dreams of that life.

You’ve already started – by implementing Habit One by shifting your morning one hour earlier than the “old” you for the last three weeks, you have literally created an extra working day every week. It’s not imaginary – those minutes are real, and you will change your life if you take advantage of them.

Don’t let it slip, build on it.

Go back and check out Habit One, or look out for the amazing benefits of Habit Three coming soon!

If you don’t yet have it, you can get Covey’s inspirational book here.

4 Comments

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