Begin with the End in Mind
It applies to many different circumstances and levels of life, the most fundamental application of ''begin with the end in mind'' is to begin today with the image, picture, or paradigm of the end of your life as your frame of reference or the criterion by which everything else is examined. Each part of your life as your frame of reference or your criterion by which everything else is examined. each part of your life-today's behavior, tomorrow's behavior, next week's behavior, next month's behavior- can be examined in the context of the whole, of what really matters most of you.
While keeping that end clearly 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 as a whole. To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of destination. It means to know where you're going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the step you take are always in the right direction. It's incredibly easy to get caught up in a activity trap, in the busyness of life, to work harder and harder at climbing the ladder of success only to discover it's learning against the wrong wall. It is possible to be busy-very busy-without being very effective.
People often find themselves achieving victories that are empty, successes that have come at the expense of things they suddenly realize were far more valuable to them. People from every walk of life-doctors, athletes, and plumbers-often struggle to achieve a higher income, more recognition of a certain degree of professional competence only to find that their drive to achieve their goal blinded them to the things that really mattered most and now are gone. How different are lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and, keeping that picture in mind,
we manage ourselves each day to be and do what really matters the most. If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just get us to the wrong place faster. We may be very busy, We may be very efficient, but we will also be truly effective only when we begin with the end in mind. If we carefully consider what you wanted to be said of you in the funeral experience, you will find your definition you thought you had in mind. Perhaps fame, achievement, money or some of the other things we strive for not even part of the right wall. When we begin with the end in mind, you gain a different perspective. One man asked another on the death of a mutual friend, "How much did he leave?" His friend responded, "he left it all".