The title gives us the impression that a fun journey awaits us and, in many ways, we are.
However, the chapter kicks in with a visualization exercise that triggers some deep and emotional thoughts.
You are at a funeral that after following the process turns out to be nothing less than yours. Given this exercise, it is very powerful.
Your task is to think about what you would like all the speakers to say about you.
Your speaker pool includes a family member, a close friend, someone from work, and an associate from your church or community organization.
What kind of person were you, what kind of son, mother, grandfather, friend or colleague from work? How has your character been and how have you touched the lives of those around you?
Write down your thoughts and it will provide clarity towards your “end in mind”.
Your definition of success will be written right there in front of you.
It is incredibly easy to get caught up in life in general and extremely easy to lose sight of what the path to our destiny looks like.
Starting with an end in mind is critical to determining where you are now and what direction you should 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 plan your trip to a friend’s house in your head first before hitting the roads? Do you consider diet before grabbing that candy bar?
There is a tremendous section on leadership that highlights the differences between management and leadership. It is a true revelation.
Stephen rates the middle section of this chapter as the most effective way he knows to “start with the end in mind.”
It is the development of a personal mission statement.
It is your personal statement that describes what you want to be and what you want to do.
Both will be based on your personal values and principles.
Ultimately, your statement will form the backbone of your decisions, both large and small. These decisions will no longer depend on your circumstances or emotions at the time.
Stephen Covey uses an excellent 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 looks at the differences between the left and right side of the brain domain and what the grand scheme of things means to us.
As if this chapter hasn’t drained your emotional energy, it delves into topics such as visualizing, affirming, and identifying your roles and goals.
The power of this chapter will come from your participation.
Your way to your destination 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 that I thought were important to me and the things that I thought defined me were little like what I had envisioned.