The title gives us the impression we are in for a fun ride and in most ways we are.
However, the chapter blasts into action with a visualization exercise that triggers some deep and emotional thoughts.
You find yourself at a funeral which after following the process turns out to be none other than yours. Given in to this exercise, it is very powerful.
Your assignment is to think about what you would like all the speakers to say about you.
Included in the group of speakers is a member of your family, a close friend, someone from work and an associate from church or a community organization.
What kind of person were you, what sort of son, mother, grandparent, friend or work colleague? What has your character been like and how have you touched the lives of those around you?
Write your thoughts down and it will provide clarity towards your “end in mind”.
Your definition for success will be written right there in front of you.
It is unbelievably easy to get caught up in life in general and extremely easy to lose sight of what the pathway to our destination looks like.
To begin with end in mind is critical when ascertain where you are now and what direction you need to take in the future.
The chapter is based on the principle that “all things are created twice”. There is always a creation made in the mind first and followed by a physical creation.
Think about it. Do you map out your journey to a friends house in your head first before taking to the roads? Do you consider the diet before grabbing that bar of chocolate?
There is a tremendous section regarding leadership which highlights the differences between management and leadership. It’s a real eye opener.
The middle section in this chapter is labelled by Stephen as the most effective way he knows to “begin with the end in mind”.
It is the development of a personal mission statement.
It is your personal statement that outlines what you want to be and what you want to do.
Both of which will be based on your personal values and principles.
Ultimately your statement will form the back bone to your decisions, both big and small. These decisions will no longer be dependent on your circumstances or emotions at the time.
Stephen Covey uses a terrific metaphor when describing the first 2 chapters.
Habit 1 says “You Are the Programmer” and Habit 2 says “Write the Program”.
The second habit takes us into the areas of self awareness and our ability to examine our own thoughts.
It also discusses the differences between the left and right side of the brain domination and what it means to us the grand scheme of things.
As if this chapter hasn’t drained you of your emotional energy it delves into topics such as visualization, affirmation and the identification of your roles and goals.
The power in this chapter will come from your participation.
Your pathway to your destiny and how you get there will be a real eye opener if you haven’t done the funeral exercise before..
What I can tell you is that the first time I did this exercise, the things I thought were important to me and the things I thought defined me bore little resemblance to what I had visualized.