BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND HABIT TWO

This 'SP Page' is based on Covey, pages 95 to 144. Spend 5 hours on this material to successfully meet the module outcomes and requirements.

All things are created twice. Do you believe that? What is created first is mental, while the second creation is physical. Consider this, if you wanted a family-centered home, you would plan the home in such a way that a family room would be central place to gather with your family. You would work with ideas–with the mind–until you get a clear image of what you want to build/create in reality. One can then say that the first creation is the planning (habit 2), and the second creation is doing (habit 3).

Remember, the first three habits fall under 'Private victories', which deal with self mastery and are the essence of character growth. To begin with the end in mind is thus part of the incremental, sequential approach to the development of personal and interpersonal effectiveness.

By design or default? Remember, not all first creations are by conscious design. Capacities of self-awareness, imagination and conscience enable us to examine first creations and take charge of them–to write our own script. Habit one states: "You are the creator." Habit 2 is the first creation.

The Two Creations

Habit 2 is based on principles of personal leadership, making leadership the first creation. Leadership deals with the top line: What are the things I want to accomplish? Leadership is not management. Management is the second creation, and deals with the bottom line: How can I best accomplish certain things?

Rescripting: Becoming a leader (1st creator)

Imagination (visualise uncreated worlds of potential lying within us) and conscience (come in contact with universal laws/principles) are two unique human endowments that enable us to exercise personal leadership in our lives.

"Because I am self-aware, because I have imagination and conscience, I can examine my deepest values. I can become my own first creator" (Covey, 1989).

Making a Personal Mission Statement

You must begin at the very center of your circle of influence (our most basic paradigms)–the center of your lens. This could also be called your philosophy or creed. It focuses on what you want to be (character) and to do (contributions/achievements), as well as your values/principles upon which your being and doing are based.

The center of your circle of influence is your source of: a) security, b) guidance, c) wisdom, and d) power.
We could be money-centered, possession-centered, work-centered, pleasure-centered, friend-centered, enemy-centered, religion-centered, self-centered, spouse-centered, or family-centered.

We essentially need to strive for a principle-centered life as a source for security (unchanging principles); guidance and wisdom (correct maps); and power (self-awareness and knowledge from being proactive and living according to correct principles).

Writing your mission statement

Keep in mind that only you are responsible for you. YOU are the programmer (habit 1), now:

  • Write the program (habit 2);
  • Use your whole brain (examine your own thoughts and expand your own perspective);
  • Tap into the right brain – visualise and affirm your mission statement (it's positive, it's present tense, it's visual, and it's emotional); and
  • Tap into the left brain – clarify the goals and roles which make up your personal mission statement.

To begin with the end in mind may seem like a tough way of living your life, but the result is that you will become more independent and freethinking. We need to be able to start with the mental creation, considering our: previous experience; self-awareness; personal mission; imagination and conscience whilst doing so.

We can then move to the second creation–the physical–to meet our goals and roles. Drawing up a personal mission statement can assist us to do this. First think of your character as you ask: "What do I want to be like?" Then consider your contributions and achievements as you ask: "What do I want to do?" Finally, reflect on your foundation and your actions as you enact your core principles and values.

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