Begin With The End In Mind

The thesis topic, “Begin With The End In Mind” is from the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” written by Stephen R. Covey. Prior to writing this book Covey had over 25 years of experience dealing with business issues such as helping companies and their employees to be more effective and efficient in their work. Stephen R. Covey leads seminars teaching managers to “do the right thing” as opposed to “doing things right.” In a nutshell, that’s the difference between being effective and being merely efficient.
Stephen R. Covey is chairman and founder of Covey Leadership Center, a worldwide, 700 member leadership development firms. He is author of the phenomenally successful best seller The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, with over 6 million copies sold in 32 languages. Dr. Covey is respected internationally as an author, lecturer, teacher and leadership mentor. For more than 30 years, he has trained thousands of leaders in business, industry, education and government.
Stephen has a doctorate degree from Brigham Young University, an M.B.A. degree from Harvard University, and a Bachelor of Science degree cum Laude, from the University of Utah. He has served as an officer and board member of several corporations, an administrative assistant to the president of Brigham Young University, a visiting professor at the University of Utah and at Belfast Technical College, as well as a popular faculty member for the Young President’s Organization. Dr. Covey is also the creator of “The Masters,” a nationally acclaimed management development program; publisher of Executive Excellence, an executive advisory newsletter; and producer of the Seven Habits video and audio training programs and organizer. He is married to Sandra Merrill Covey, and they are the parents of nine children.

Overview of the Book:
Stephen R. Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People was first published in 1989. Since that time, the seven habits he identified and described have been used by scores of individuals and organizations to improve their effectiveness.
Stephen R. Covey’s incredibly successful book is a pathway to wisdom and power. It offers a revolutionary program to breaking the patterns of self-defeating behavior that keep us from achieving our goals and reaching our fullest potential, and describes how to replace them with a principle-focused approach to problem solving.
Covey in his book The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People explains in-depth the 7 habits that makes people effective in their work. In the book Covey explains the concepts by giving real world examples. He also guides the readers, how they can follow the 7 habits of highly effective people. Following are the 7 habits discussed by Covey in his book.
1) Be Proactive
2) Begin with the End in Mind
3) Put First Things First
4) Think Win/Win
5) Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
6) Synergize
7) Sharpen the Saw
Begin With The End In Mind:
Great advice is often ignored because it sounds so matter-of-fact, makes such common sense, and is so simple that it just cannot be that good. Anyone could have thought of that idea, and probably has – so what’s new? “Begin with the end in mind” is one such thought and is presented by Stephen Covey in his series of books on the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. You have to think ahead to your goal or your destination before you can plan the steps or plot the route needed to reach it. And that makes good sense!
STOP – right now – whatever you are doing.
Now, ask yourself, what is the end (the purpose) of reading this thesis? If you do not know, then why are you reading it?
Everything that you do, you do for a reason. However, you may not always be aware of that reason.
Habit 2 “Begin with the end in mind” is all about knowing why you do what you are doing. Your starting point is a set of goals, targets, missions, visions or dreams. These give purpose to all that you do.
If you do not follow this Habit;
> You will spend your leisure time the way TV companies want you to
> You will buy what advertisers want you to
> You will take the first half-decent job that comes along
> At the end of the day, you will have no idea what you have achieved
If you do follow this Habit;
> Your leisure time will be amazing
> You will spend less and enjoy it more
> Your job will match your desires and your talents
> At the end of the day, you will look back over many worthwhile achievements
To get into this habit;
> At the end of every day, decide what you will achieve the next day
> During the day, regularly ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing. If you do not get a good answer, do something else
Imagine that our minds are like a camera lens. When we zoom in on the details, the big picture gets out of focus. And when we take a wide-angle view, we can see more opportunities and then choose which actions we’ll take to seize those opportunities. A wide-angle view can provide the motivation needed to focus on all the details needed to make something happen.
In Stephen Covey’s book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Habit #2 is to “Begin with the end in mind.” By focusing on the final outcome first, you can get clearer about what it would look and feel like if you were already there. This wider focus makes it easier to see more opportunities and possibilities than we can see when we only focus on the details.
Author Stephen R. Covey in his theory presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes, Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity — principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.
According to Covey, “begin with the end in the mind” means, you know where you are heading and you know what your destination is. In other word you should not start your trip without knowing your destination/Goal.
For e.g. if you want to go to your friend’s house, you need to know the exact address of the house otherwise you may waste your time and possibly you will not be able to reach his house. Just by sitting in the car and start driving you will not help you reach your friend’s house. The most effective and efficient way of reaching your friend’s house is to make sure that you have the address (The end) before you start your trip
What is Goal?
The definition of Goal is the end that one strives to attain. It’s the object of a person’s ambition, desire or final destination. Are goals really an end to something? They are just the beginning. Once you set and reach your goals you are on your way to achieving greater heights, unlimited heights. Here are some tips on goals.
> The most successful people have goals. Their goals are specific, measurable and positive. Goals are not dreams, they are achievable within reach.
> Goals must be achievable and believable. If you don’t believe you can reach your goal then you won’t. Make sure you are really committed to your goal.
> Don’t waste your time, energy and emotions on goals that you don’t believe you can achieve.
> Share your goal, write your goal down, look at your goal everyday.
The best goals are the ones that cause you to stretch yourself in order to reach them. In other words if you want to set a financial goal for sales or business, set one that you think you can reach then add 20%. This will cause you to stretch and go beyond your comfort zone. How are you going to achieve your goal? Here’s how you do it.
> Think of a goal that is specific, measurable, explicit and positive. One that is reachable with a stretch.
> Then you ask yourself, when do you plan to achieve it? 6 months? 1 year? 5 years?
> Now work backwards from that point. What do you have to do? What are your monthly, weekly and daily milestones and actions? In other words what are your short-term goals to achieve your long-term goal?
> Always keep the end/goal and the reason you want to achieve the goal in your mind. In this way you will stay determined and focused to achieve your goal.
Make goals or choices that are:
> Specific – Have a crystal clear picture of the desired outcome.
> Measurable – How will you know you have achieved your desired outcome? How will you measure it?
> Achievable – Create a step-by-step plan to accomplish what you want.
> Relevant – Does this goal fit within the bigger picture (wide-angle view) of what is most important to you?
> Time-bound – What is the timeline for accomplishing what you want?
Begin with the End in Mind means to begin each day or task with a clear understanding of your desired direction and destination. By keeping that end in mind you can make certain that whatever you do on any particular day does not violate the criteria you have defined as supremely important, and that each day of your life contributes in a meaningful way to the vision you have of your life as a whole.
Importance of setting Goal/End
The key to success is setting up goals. If you have a goal then you will strive to achieve it, you will be motivated, and focused. If you have a goal in front of you, you will know what you want to achieve, and why you want to achieve those things. Therefore, if you know your goal, stay focused, and you know the reasons for achieving the goal then you will successfully achieve your goal.
In work force there are 2 types of people:
First types of people are the ones who are working because they have to feed themselves and their family. These are the people who do not look forward, who do not look at the end, and who do not have goals. As far as their basic needs are filled they are happy. They do not have any goals and therefore do not strive to achieve them. In most cases these types of people will remain at the same position from where they started.
Second types of people are those who have ambitions, goals and they have the end in their mind. They are not satisfied with just feeding themselves and their family. They get satisfaction when they take a step forward to achieve their goal. They work hard and are intrinsically motivated. They are the employees who are successful and make the business successful because they have end/goal in their mind. They are most likely to get promotions in company very quickly. They will keep moving and will give their 100% to reach their destination/goal.
For Covey a personal mission statement is the key to effective decision-making. Through a series of thoughtful exercises, Covey leads the reader to identify what is truly important in his or her life. A personal mission statement answers two essential questions:
> What am I about?
> Upon what principles do I operate my life?
A person without such a mission, Covey writes “fluctuates from one center to another, the resulting relativism is like roller coasting through life. One moment you’re high, the next moment you’re low…There is no consistent sense of direction, no persistent wisdom, no steady power supply or sense of personal, intrinsic worth and identity.
“The ideal, of course, is to create one clear center from which you consistently derive a high degree of security, guidance, wisdom and power, empowering your proactively and giving congruency and harmony to every part of your life.”
Similarly, we believe it is important for every aspect of life, in a reflective and thoughtful way, to develop a mission statement. Imagine the rich conversation and the benefit to all of the people of the world if get to answer: 1) What is my life all about? and 2) Upon what principles do I operate? Mission statements, along with a set of goals, allow stating exactly what it desires for everyone -i.e., to define the ends toward which everyone is collectively striving.
Searching for synergy and focus, one may want to encourage family, teachers, parents, community members, and themselves to help develop a certain mission statement. In this way everyone can “begin with the end in mind.”
Typically, many people are successful managers-of their own lives, of their farms, of their homes, of their work or business interests-and it is often difficult to move from the tried and true management approach to the leadership function. Jesse Jackson is quoted as saying:
“We do best what we do most.”
It is difficult to step up to leadership issues when our comfort zone is in the management arena. Shifting the focus from the means (what we do most) to ends is tough work.
We find it easier to debate the merits of a particular problem-solving approach-knowing in our heart of hearts that we are not accountable for actually solving the problem-than it is to determine the vision for the bigger picture
The most effective way I know to begin with the end in mind is to develop a personal mission statement or philosophy or creed. It focuses on what you want to be (character) and to do (contributions and achievements) and on the values and principles upon which being and doing are based.
In order to write a personal mission statement, we must begin at the very center of our circle of influence, that center comprised of our most basic paradigms, the lens through which we see the world. Whatever is at the center of our life will be the source of our security, guidance, wisdom, wisdom, and power.
Who are busy people?
According to Covey people who do not have goals/end are the people who are busy and are liability for their employers. People watching them might think they are working hard but in reality they are wasting their time and the money of the company they are working for. They have the tendency of rushing things; they will start things without knowing the cause and the effects. They will never plan and never look at the end. They are one of those people who will sit in the car without know where exactly they are going. These characteristics make them inefficient employees.
Covey’s words, the Logic Model and other tools encourage us to first think about what we want our final results to be, then to plan and carry out the steps required to reach those results, whether in our teaching, our personal lives or other situations.
In teaching, think, “What do I want your students to be able to do when they leave the class?” rather than “How many experiments can you fit into the semester?” Consider “How should these producers change their practices after your session?” rather than “How many Power points can you fit into my 45 minutes?” Ponder, “What actions do you want these youth to take after the camp?” instead of “How can I keep these kids busy all day?”
Covey says, “Begin with the end in mind is based on the principle that all things are created twice. There’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation to all things.” For example, when building a new home, we visualize how we want the exterior and each room to look. Then we develop the blueprint and gather the materials, then actually carry out the construction. In education, we visualize what we want our learners to do (the desired outcomes), then organize what we need make this happen (the inputs), then carry out the program (the outputs).
Don’t confuse urgency with importance:
As you go through your week, there will undoubtedly be times when your integrity will be placed on the line. The popularity of reacting to the urgent but unimportant priorities of other people or the pleasure of escaping to unimportant activities will threaten to overpower the important activities you have planned. Your principle center; your self-awareness, and your conscience can provide a high degree of intrinsic security, guidance, and wisdom to empower you to use your independent will and maintain integrity to the truly important.
Time management has evolved beyond the basic idea of organizing and executing around priorities, the author says. Many managers are good at scheduling their time and setting goals. So why is frustration so often the end result? Why do managers regress into primitive techniques, writing themselves notes, making checklists, keeping calendars and appointment books?
It’s because the object of management should be you, not time. Don’t confuse urgency with importance. Crisis managers who live from one problem and deadline to the next always have one waiting. The only relief is in busy work-opening mail, making a few nonessential phone calls, wasting time in pleasantries. That overlooks the big middle and Covey sees his mission as sorting out what is really important for executives who don’t have time to do so themselves.
Covey has made a life study of personal paradigms and has found, among other things that “we never really understand what’s going on inside another human being.” We’re overdrawn on our “Emotional Bank Account.” When we try to persuade people of something, we overlook the ancient Greek art of rhetoric, which involves presenting our character and communicating our feelings before presenting the logical argument. Instead, we go straight to logic.
A business organization jam-packed with effective people would really be a sight to see. The obstacles to being your own agent of change are so formidable that most people can only wish it will happen.
If inspiration is the first step, this theory provides it. The evidence is now clear.
A Vision for the END:
Almost all of the world-class athletes and other peak performers are visualizers. They see it; they feel it; they experience it before they actually do it. They Begin with an End in Mind. You can do it in every area of your life. Before a performance, a sales presentation, a difficult confrontation, or the daily challenge of meeting a goal – see it clearly, vividly, relentlessly, over and over again. Create an internal “comfort zone.” Then, when you get into the situation, it isn’t foreign, it doesn’t scare you.
Begin with the end in mind. (This is the Principle of Personal Leadership) Look at where you want to go. What does “being successful” mean to you? What is really important? “All things are created twice.” Leadership is the first creation. Management is the second creation. The leader has a vision. The manager implements the vision. Management is the efficiency in climbing the ladder of success: leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall. If you do not plan, things are going to evolve on their own and out of control. You need to re-script: impose your vision on situations, become the first creator.
You may want to develop a Big Picture vision: it is your Personal Mission Statement. In this statement, you will have to include the following values: Security, Guidance, Wisdom, and Power. You need to recognize your centers. Some of us are spouse centered, family centered, money centered, work centered, possession centered, friend/enemy centered or religion centered. Try to find your de facto center. The ideal would be to be Principle Centered. To develop a Personal Mission Statement, you need to use your whole brain: your mind and your emotions; your logic and your intuitions. Then you can try writing a Mission Statement for your family, your organization.
Security
Represents your sense of worth, your identity, your emotional anchorage, your self-esteem, your basic personal strength or lack of it.
Guidance
means your source of direction in life. Encompassed by your map, your internal frame of reference that interprets for you what is happening out there.
Wisdom
in your perspective on life, your sense of balance, your understanding of how the various parts and principles relate to each other.
Power
is the faculty or capacity to act, the strength and potency to accomplish something.
Covey lists several advantages to principle-centered personal decision-making, which can lead to achieving the desired results.
> Proactively choose what it determines to be the best alternative, rather than reacting to other people or circumstances.
> Make choices that are in keeping with its ultimate values.
> Feel comfortable about your decisions because they are based on unchanging principles.
You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage–pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically — to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside. The enemy of the ‘best’ is often the ‘good.’ Prior to any measurement one must have a target/reference, where one can find if that process has been improved or detoriated upon certain action taken. Key criteria must be established prior to any action. Although, it would be naive to celebrate any short-term improvement (apparent) without any action taken.
What is the balance between leading and managing? It is important for us to clarify the difference between ends and means. The focus on the ends must be both individual and collective. People who choose to work at this level can begin at any point, and move out from there
“We are more in need of a vision or destination, and less in need of a map. Leaders create their own destiny by following their internal compass. They make their life a mission, not just a career.”
This habit refers to the fact that our behavior must not be driven at random, we must have precise objectives to achieve: Buy a house or a car; earn a degree in the university; achieve a promotion in our job. Every time we make an important decision we must ask ourselves if this decision is approaching our goal. Begin with the End in Mind means to begin each day or task with a clear understanding of your destination, thus making certain that whatever you do that day contributes to your ultimate goal in life.
As we choose, so we become:
Do you accept full responsibility for the choices you make? Have the choices you’ve made in the past taken you to where you want to go? Pretend it’s your eightieth birthday and all your friends and family have come to celebrate. Each will get up in front of the group and reflect on your many accomplishments. What will they say? What do you want them to say?
“Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”
– Unknown
Different choices take us down different roads. To make sure that the road you choose will lead to your ultimate destination, it can help to imagine it’s your eightieth birthday when all of your friends and relatives have gathered on the occasion to stand before you and describe all of the magnificent accomplishments of your life.
When I hear others complaining about negative things happening in their lives, I am reminded that everything we have, everything we are, is a byproduct of the choices we make. Nothing happens to us that we do not choose, whether consciously or unconsciously. Want to have a better life? Make better choices.
Our health is a good example. When we complain that we feel tired, run down, overweight or stressed out, perhaps we need to realize it’s because of the poor choices we’ve made. A sedentary lifestyle or one filled with too much fat, sugar, caffeine or alcohol, will not result in a healthy body. Dr. Bernie Siegel asks his patients, “Why did you choose this disease?” Optimum wellness is a choice!
And what about your career? Your mama didn’t tell you to become a widget repairman! If you dislike your job and really want to make a contribution to society or express your true talents, heed the words of Nike and “Just do it!” The only thing standing in the way of the job or career you desire is you. Don’t just sit around waiting for things to change to your liking because chances are they never will. You must be the change agent. You must manifest what is you desire!
“Better Lives Begin with Better Choices”
To make better choices and live the life of our dreams, we must focus on a couple of key questions. First, will this choice bring me closer to learning who I am and becoming who I want to be? We often make decisions and choices too quickly without taking into consideration the long-term consequences. Every decision today creates the world we will inherit tomorrow. Or looked at another way-your life today is the sum total of all the choices you made in the past.
After you have identified the accomplishments that will in essence become your legacy, do what Stephen Covey says and “begin with the end in mind.” In other words, work backwards from where you want to end up in your lifetime and make choices today that will lead you there. Don’t settle for anything less!
Next, I think it is important to determine on a scale of 1 to 10, whether the choice you are about to make is your highest choice. How will you know? Your highest choice will always be the one that is void of any ego attachment and will reflect the inner direction of your soul. Normally, your highest choice will not be the first choice that comes to mind because the ego will usually override your soul and scream the loudest! The ego is very clever and knows exactly how to distort what it is we really want. Whenever I find I have made a poor choice, I usually realize that my ego found a way to shut out my heart. It’s as simple as that.
To quiet the ego and let your soul speak, you must be out of your mind. In other words, you must turn your mind off and let your soul, heart and feelings take over. Find some quiet time-get off by yourself-and without distraction, learn to be still. Then, move from the stillness to a meditative state. This will provide an environment in which the voice of the soul can be heard. The soul, you see, is a rather polite fellow. It will always remain quiet in the presence of more boisterous competition such as the ego. Your challenge is to find a way to get the ego to shut up just long enough for the soul to speak.
During meditation, try on your various choices in the context of how you feel once you have made them. In other words, see yourself as having already made the decision. How does it feel? Do you feel lighter, happier, and full of energy? Or is there a queasy feeling in your gut? Repeat this exercise as many times as necessary until the decision lines up with your highest values and beliefs. Oh, and that little voice you’re hearing in your head; listen to it! It’s there to help you along the path.
While we’re on the subject of meditation, please understand that setting in the lotus position with your legs wrapped around your neck is not a requirement. Frankly, not many people can sit like that for any length of time. It may be a good way to learn to scratch your nose with your big toe but how often will that come in handy? Find a position that feels comfortable and relaxed so that you can focus your attention on shutting down the inner-chatter of your mind and finding the voice of your soul. As we choose, so we become. Don’t look back at your life from your eightieth birthday and wish things had turned out differently. Learn to make better choices today that allow you to leave the legacy you desire. Turn off the noise, turn up the silence and choose to become your highest gift. A better life awaits you!
From the Decision Maker’s Point of View:
Stephen Covey’s Habit 2 is “Begin with the end in mind”. From the Decision Theory point of view, it is essential to have a way to rank the options. If it doesn’t matter what happens, then there’s no reason to think about the choice. Flip a coin. Throw some sticks on the ground and look at the pattern. Tea leaves. Bird guts. But if you want to choose, you need to know what you want to accomplish. That means understanding the likely results of each option and then choosing between options to achieve those results. To rank outcomes we need values. What is good? More money. Longer life. Good for whom? Just me? Just my family? From Pringles to Austria. So part of Deciding Better is knowing what you value.
Then you can make decisions that maximize that value. And when you make inappropriate decisions- the car that impresses the neighbors, when you don’t hold “others opinions of me” as a value, you might make a different decision. Or rethink your values, understanding that what you think you value and how you act don’t match. So begin with the end in mind. You aren’t choosing options, you are choosing between likely results. But we know that the future is uncertain. That’s where simulation and imagination help you decide
From the Management/Business Point of View:
Be it in business, real life, religion or any other walk of life the second of the seven habits described by Stephen Covey in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People Begin with the end in mind answers all the questions.
Pause for a minute and remember when you first thought about running for the board of education. What were you hoping would happen? What did you want to accomplish? What kind of organization were you hoping to give your time to? Simply put: What end did you have in mind?
Advance the tape a little. How well did you convey your hopes-your vision-your ends-to the other board members? Did your hopes converge with theirs? Did the other board members share your vision? Did the board find ways to “speak with one voice” as it clarified its goals and objectives?
Now fast forward. You have been on the board for a few years. Newer members have joined you. How have their hopes been blended into the new board’s vision? If you answered the questions above, you have taken the first step toward defining the “end” or outcome you want for your school board. The images that describe those outcomes are the basis of a personal mission statement that will keep you on tract as you make decisions.
Covey quotes the president of an oil company who attended a Seven Habits seminar. The man understood the difference between leadership and management, and decided to withdraw from managing his company to assume a position of leadership. “It was hard,” said the CEO, “I went through withdrawal pains because I stopped dealing with a lot of the pressing, urgent matters that were right in front of me and which gave me a sense of immediate accomplishment. I didn’t receive much satisfaction as I started wrestling with the direction issues, the culture building issues, the deep analysis of problems, the seizing of new opportunities…But I persisted. I was absolutely convinced that I needed to provide leadership. And I did. Today our whole business is different…We have doubled our revenues and quadrupled our profits…”
You need to consider yourself, your family and your community. Sit down and figure out how much you need to support your lifestyle, save for a secure retirement, put away for a college education, vacation, hobby, or fulfilling a dream, tithe your church, pay fines at Rotary or contribute to the community chest.
Now, ask yourself, what return do you want from your investment in your business? If you took those same assets and made reasonable investments in CDs, bonds or stocks, how much would you make? This, as a minimum, should be your profit goal for your business.
Next, realizing that your expenses dictate the “end” where you need to begin, add up your overhead costs from your P&L and balance sheet. Add to this figure any increases you anticipate in overhead, such as increases in rent, utilities, insurance or capital expenditures like a new vehicle.
Divide the total of all your expenses, personal and business, by your historical gross profit margin, and voil�, you have your sales goal for the year! Well, maybe.
Suppose that this sales goal is more than you want or can do because of such limiting factors as a shortage of qualified labor, a slowing economy or a commitment to your own sanity. Now, you have a choice: Modify the end you have in mind or think about how you can increase your gross profit
By beginning with the end in mind, you are more likely to have a business that works for you. You can monitor your progress throughout the year to make sure you end up where you want to end up. By beginning with the end in mind, you can eliminate the nagging doubts about how much work to take or not. Instead, you know you are on a path that will meet your needs. You can have a whole new way of looking at your business and look forward to a successful year that is taking you where you want to go.
Life is uncertain. Revolutionary entrepreneurs leap through conventions into the unknown. The future is waiting to be discovered. That discovery reveals itself in each moment. Our challenge is simple: to focus on what needs to be done now and trust that our next steps are enough.
Taking a Religious Glance:
Each of us should “Begin with the End in Mind.” We will one day stand before God. How does that affect where you are right now? How does that affect the direction that you are walking? It should give clarity of purpose to your walk for the end. It should motivate, encourage and direct. The reason that people wander aimlessly in life, many times away from God, is that they have never thought to “Begin with the End in Mind.” You can only know how to live if you first know where you are going.
When we were born Muslims we probably began with the spiritual end in mind when we realized our need for salvation and obeyed the Lord’s command to be baptized for the remission of our sins. We wanted to be sure that we pointed our spirits toward heaven. As we settled into living the Muslim life, however, we tended to lose sight of the end for which we were striving and settled into a comfortable accommodation with the world around us. We didn’t want to be “preachy” and we didn’t want to make waves about the spiritual condition or doctrinal status of other religious people. We didn’t comment unfavorably about how the world violates God’s will by its crime, delinquency and harmful habits. We became just so easy to live or work with.
Prophet Mohammad said,
“Inamal amalu bil niat”
This means your acts are depended on your goals/niats. Covey said Begin with the End in Mind, the same thing which Prophet Mohammad said years ago. Or as another hadees proves that whatever we do today in this world; its ajur will be given to us when this world comes to an end; i.e.;
“Dunya Aakhirat Kee Khaitee Hai”
The comfort of Christianity may be deceiving though, because it goes against the experience of early Christians who found their lives to be somewhat of a struggle, Peter writes to Christians dispersed throughout the Mediterranean world and says that they “Have been distressed by various trials” (1Peter 1:6). James says, “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance, and let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:3,4)
Some of us who began with the end in mind may fall prey to an even more ominous danger posed by “Deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, “the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods” (1 Timothy 4:1-3). It’s easy to fall prey to people who strive to generate in us a desire for a new or novel approach to religion by decrying what they imply is a staid and stolid stance on Scripture as doctrine. They try to create in us the feeling that we are not as “spiritual” as they are because we insist on going by the Bible only at all times.
Our struggle is going to be against arguments for preaching what is “politically correct” in the sense that it satisfies what the pollsters determine is “what people want.” Find out what people want, and give them that is the implied message of much that the “change agents” want to foist on the church. Our cry should be; “Sustain me according to Thy word, that I may live; and do not let me be ashamed of my hope” (Psalm 119: 116) we began with the end in mind – be saved and go to heaven. The devil is trying by every means to discourage us from keeping the end in mind. He is trying now to get the human kind to drop the Bible as their guide (“It’s propositional truth,” he says) and listen to messages which are more comforting to all. He wants a trouble free religion for all, with no challenges, no stress, no trials, no temptations – but that will not lead to the end we had in mind at the beginning of our life.
“But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self- controlled so that you can pray.” I Peter 4:5-7
My Point of View:
As I watched David Beckham making his final winning shot, I realized that football provides some great analogies for life. Hundreds of moves and plays are required to reach the goal, yet it is impossible to plan each play before the game begins. The players can see the goal — to win the game — and they can predict what the next few plays will be, but they can’t figure out the exact moves they will make by just standing on the sideline. They must take action and continuously look for their next few moves as they keep the goal in mind. They stay focused by remaining aware of where they are and what options are available to them. This sharp focus makes it possible to seize opportunities as they arise and ultimately win the game!
During the game I overheard a friend ask, “Why is he running backwards with the ball? Isn’t the goal the other direction?” My friend explained that the football player hoped to gain yards by running backwards, because he was creating space so he could throw a long pass. That’s bigger picture thinking!
How often do we plow forward with our next move without thinking about the bigger picture? Take a few minutes to jot down your response to these questions:
> What are my most important goals or dreams for the coming year?
> What would it look and feel like if I were already there?
> How can I accomplish this with the greatest ease?
Look through your wide-angle lens for the opportunities you may have previously missed. Be aware of where you are on your journey and what your next few moves will be. Then take action!
Stephen Covey’s second habit (Begin with the end in mind) will help you to move from dependence to independence.
Procrastination! I know it well. From taxes to yard work to filing papers–you name it, I’m the expert procrastinator. I can put off doing anything, with style and ease. I file for college registration at the last minute without breaking a sweat. Am I proud of this? Well, admittedly, sometimes yes. I pat myself on the back and say “I have the amazing ability to get things done at the last minute.”
Do I usually end up regretting my procrastination? Almost always. So I’ve had to learn ways to get things done now, on time. I’m still learning and always will be. Procrastination is a persistent thief!
Procrastination is an expensive way to spend your life. Waiting until the last minute can even cost you your life. And when you “spend” your life mired in defering, you don’t truly live. You are perpetually putting off living.
There are numerous causes and explanations for procrastination, including, but not limited to:
> Fear of success
> Fear of the unknown
> Lack of interest or motivation
> Lack of information
> Too much information
> Indecision
> Not knowing where to start
> Too busy
> Laziness
I believe procrastination is one thing, which can be overcome by having an ulterior motive in life. In other words, get a clear vision in your mind (and on paper) of what you want, and where you want to be. This may seem contradictory to what I said about not worrying about tomorrow, but these two principles work hand-in-hand. By knowing clearly what you want to achieve, you can relax in the day-to-day details of accomplishing your goal.
Secondly, being productive also means begin with the end in mind. Even for a simple meeting held to be successful one has to keep the end results derived from it in mind. Before you hold your meeting, you should know what you’re trying to accomplish in the meeting and how you will know when you’ve actually achieved what you set out to achieve. In Simply Brilliant, Fergus O’Connell recounts the tale of a friend who writes down the minutes of the meeting before she actually holds the meeting. “Here’s how I will know when the meeting has achieved it objectives,” says O’Connell’s friend.
Winners understand that success comes from a series of small steps that keep in mind their ultimate destination. We may have a dream and not know how or where to begin. If we map out how we will feel, think and act when we reach our goal, then Its time to begin building an internal kinesthetic sense of success. Each step reveals the next step. A series of steps, done with excellence and discernment, will lead us to our destination.
Conclusion:
Let’s go back to the future…Imagine yourself reflecting on your life ten years from now. As you reflect, what is it you wish you had said or done? What vision is it that you wish you had been able-or willing-to articulate? Take some good advice from Stephen Covey: as you step up to the challenge of giving your life a meaning-you will make the best contribution if you “begin with the end in mind.”
In summary, create and live by a personal mission statement. This may lead onto more specific goals and objectives, but the idea is that you try to live as the sort of person you’d like to be remembered for when you’ve passed on.
“What lies behind us and what lies
before us are tiny matters compared
to what lies within us.”
-Oliver Wendall Holmes
Bibliography:
> Seven Habits Of Effective People by Stephen Covey
> Internet (Web Search from Altavista.com and Askjeeves.com)
> Critical Analysis written by Michael Gray
> Critical Analysis by Gary Vancil
College of Business Management
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