To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you are going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.
It is incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap, in the busy-ness of life, to work harder and harder at climbing the ladder of success only to discover it is leaning against the wrong wall. It is possible to be busy — very busy — without being effective.
How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us! Keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most. If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.
The imagery of future for me is like a forest with a variety of vegetation, with a breeze of fresh air, with rays of sunbeams shining through the treetop, with sounds of a flowing stream, with songs of living creatures, with paths for exploration and discovery, and with the presence of God’s glory. I value Godly wisdom, humility, perseverance, joy, and relationship when I make my daily decisions.
We can be truly effective only when we begin with the end in mind.
An excerpt from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey