Stephen Covey’s habit #2 (from Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) is: Begin with the End in Mind.
Covey starts with the extreme example of considering your death. What do you want people to say about you at your funeral? How do you want to be remembered? What words would they use to describe you?
This is a very powerful and extreme question if you choose to truly think about it.
I pondered on this question for over two years since someone had asked me that at a party on an overseas conference.
I didn’t have the answer then. That’s why it was in the back of my mind for so long- not having the answer bothered me.
Covey’s way of visualising your funeral could be somewhat extreme or daunting for some people.
Some people (like me) also struggle with the ‘traditional’ concept and methods of setting personal goals and career aspirations (I always roll my eyes when I’m asked to do a career goal setting exercise…).
If visualising your funeral is a bit too much and goal setting exercises are not quite your thing, here are some other questions you can maybe start thinking about (which will eventually lead you to the same type of conclusion)–
- Who are you outside what your business card title says you are?
- What do you really like and enjoy doing? What excites you?
- If you had no need to earn money, would you still be doing what you are doing now?
- Do you have a sneaky feeling or even a fear that if you just continue on this course you may not get a chance to realise your full potential in life? Even if you have no idea what that ‘potential’ is?
Stephen Covey says it brilliantly:
“It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap, in the busyness of life, to work harder and harder at climbing the ladder of success only to discover that it’s leaning against the wrong wall”
Have you had a chance to stop for a second to think about the big picture and keep the ‘end in mind’? Is your ladder leaning against the right wall?
by Ayala Domani