There is an old adage that the end is just the beginning…and if you take a closer look at it, then you will see just how true this old saying can really be.
Life exists in a set of polarities, and they all lead back around in a cycle of life. Night and day, joy and sorrow, sickness and health, if you aren’t in one stage, then you are likely in the next…and every ending is just the beginning of another cycle.
Consider that every person who has ever achieved happiness or success has had to start with the end in mind to achieve what they were after. While it’s true that the happiness is achieved more from the journey than from actually reaching the destination; its the idea of being on a set course: the idea of living a life with purpose that is truly fulfilling to us on a deeper level.
There is one simple idea that can cause you to achieve far more success than you ever thought was possible… to begin with the end in mind.
In 7 Habits of highly effective people, we learn this important principle to direct the course of our lives. To begin with the end in mind means this: imagine yourself in 10 years, really try to see yourself and try to envision as many details as possible…and then make today bring you closer to that day.
What do you look like? How do you act? What are you doing? What great things have you achieved in life? REALLY ask yourself what your perfect life looks like.
When you imagine your perfect future, what are you doing, where are you living, and what makes you who you are?
Focus deeply on this dream, use your imagination and try to really see these things before you; after you can clearly see the end point, you can start planning to make it reality.
That is the idea behind starting with the end…first see what you want, and THEN make a plan to get it…not the other way around.
Imagine your life as a boat about to set out to sea on voyage.
There are two ways your boat can depart and you have to make a choice: the first choice is to hop on board with no supplies, lower the sails, and let the wind take you where it leads you, or the second choice is to begin with the destination in mind; in this scenario you load the boat with all the supplies you will need, you plot out the course you will take, and you plan for contingencies.
Which boat would you rather be on, the one with a plotted destination, or the one floating randomly through the wind?
It should be obvious that almost certainly the first ship will never make it safely to shore; and while only time will tell whether the second ship ever hits land is still uncertain, most people will still agree a fully stocked ship with a set course stands a better chance at reaching it’s destination.
Imagine building a house with no blueprint, or going on a vacation with no charted route or GPS, it seems pretty crazy right?
The first step in any undertaking is always to decide what you want to do, or where you want to go, and then you decide how the best way to get there will be.
If you you aren’t going anywhere then that is exactly where you will end up!
The same applies to your life.
Which ship is your life? Are you out to sea, just flowing lost in the wind, or do you have a plan for improvement?
When you really want to improve at anything in life you need to first ask yourself these questions: What do you want your life to look like, what needs improvement, what are your weaknesses, what are your strengths, what do you need to make your journey a success?
If you are not willing to look inwardly at yourself and start taking responsibility for your own progress in life, then no one else will do it for you.
If you want results, progress, and success then you have to make a plan for it. These things don’t just happen on their own.
Enough monkeys on typewriters might eventually type up Shakespeare, but my money is on the fact that you WON’T be the monkey who write it up.
Sure, everyone gets lucky from time to time, but put your money on the reliable facts: success is a product of a plan.
Begin with the end in mind, make a plan, stick to it…and the world is yours!
Whether you believe it to be true or not, your life is what you make it.
If you see nothing but bad, it will be nothing but bad, and if you see nothing but good, you will have nothing but good.
Its up to you, you can take action, you can plan your course, you can direct your life in whatever direction you choose. Though things may not, and will not, go exactly as you have planned, you still stand a much better chance of living your dreams and achieving your goals if you take each step with those dreams in mind.