When was the last time you set off in your car on a journey and didn’t know where you were going?

Periodically it can actually be quite fun to head off in a random direction, whether in a car or even in a blog post…

But when it isn’t so fun is when you are developing your business…

And yet all too often it is possible to head off and not quite know where you are going and why…

Steven Covey’s second habit is “Begin with the End in Mind”. And he starts by asking the question what do you want people to say about you at your funeral?

It’s a somewhat depressing question… although I do cheer myself up with the idea that I want to have a fun funeral – so I am having an invitation sent out with Hawaiian Theme, but I am only sending that to one person.

In all honesty I don’t really want to have a funeral at all but assuming that science doesn’t advance far enough to keep me alive for ever (!) I would want to be remembered as a person who has had a positive impact on others and that I leave the world better than I found it. Fortunately for me the Bill Gates Foundation seems to be doing a pretty good job of improving the world, so I can concentrate on having a positive impact.

Though this is not really that easy a task.

Still according to Covey:

The most effective way I know to begin with the end in mind is to develop a personal mission statement or philosophy or creed. It focused on what you want to be (character) and to do (contributions and achievements) and on the values or principles upon which being and doing are based.

I wrote earlier about the idea of finding your purpose. There is no doubt that it can be a challenge to really hone it down although I think that the talk by Adam Leipzig on that page is useful and may well help you define your mission statement.

You can also watch it here:

Ultimately if you don’t take responsibility for what you want your life to become, someone else will do it for you and you will have to live a very different life to the one of your abilities and dreams…

So if you haven’t already take some time to think about how you want your life to play out…

Not just at  your funeral but where you want to be at the end of this week, this month, this year, this job, this career….

And remember it is important to have balance – you can’t just think about the end for your career – especially in today’s fast moving times where today’s jobs may well be done by tomorrow’s robots.

There are really five different areas of life that we need to concentrate on: Work, Family, Health, Friends, and Spirit…. Think about what your end in mind is for each of these and then work towards them.

This image might help.

Here the end in mind is getting to the top of the stairs and here is the thought process… The fact is that if you have an end in mind and you work towards it you will get there…

Which Step have you reached today

Let me know what you think in the comments.

In tomorrows post we look at the third habit of putting first things first.