The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, is a self-help book written by Stephen R. Covey. It has sold more than 25 million copies in 38 languages worldwide, and the audio version has sold 1.5 million copies, and remains one of the best selling nonfiction business books.
The approach continues to be pertinent in every day life at work and at home. Buyers Meeting Point will be reviewing each of the Seven Habits over the next few months.
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Whenever we have to be somewhere at a certain time, I tend to determine how that will happen by going through the following steps - in reverse.
- How long does it take us to get there?
- When should we leave the house?
- What needs to be done before we can leave?
- What do I need to bring and do I need to make it or go pick it up at the store?
- How much time does that take?
Using that, I put a plan together and usually make it to my destination within a few minutes of the expected arrival time. However, some of my family members are challenged with time management and we occasionally have enthusiastic discussions around all of the above.
That is a small example of beginning with the end in mind. Stephen Covey takes it to a much broader level. In one exercise, he asked the class to write the speech someone would give about you on your 80th birthday. Now start backward from there to today! What do you do more of, less of or differently all together to get the end result you want.
He recommends listing out all the roles you have in your life - parent, spouse, child, co-worker, neighbor, and so on. With that, review how you want to participate in that role. With all that in your mind, begin to create a mission statement on how to live your life.
I have tried to write a mission statement and failed miserably. It continues to evolve and is a work in progress.
How are you finding it to do that? Have you had any success with Habit 2?