Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind

ByMani Prithiviraj

Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In article one and article two, we reviewed Covey’s 7 Habits of Effective people and the First Habit (Be Proactive). We understood how alignment of actions with natural principles, balance of production and production capacity are important. In this post, we will look at the second habit which is “Begin with the End in Mind”. This is the second habit associated with the self.

            “Begin with the End in Mind” means that we need to understand our destination clearly. This is important since it ensures that we take steps to go in the correct direction. Imagine that we are at Bangalore and we want to go to Roorkee. Unless and until we have the destination (Roorkee) in our mind, we cannot select the correct route map that will take us to Roorkee.

            The second habit is based on the principle that all things are created twice. Once in the mind and once physically. If we take the example of building a home, the builder first creates a blue print of the home. He / She then gets the material, workers and equipment, to physically construct the home making sure that it is built according to the specifications in the blue print.

Covey says that we need to realize that there are two creations and take responsibility for both. Leadership is the first creation and Management is the second creation. Peter Drucker and Warren Bennis explain this very well. They describe Leadership as doing the right thing, and Management as doing things right. Leadership focuses on the top line, whereas management focuses on the bottom line. If we take the example of using a ladder to reach our destination, leadership ensures that the ladder leans against the right wall and management ensures that we are efficient in climbing the ladder and get to the destination safely.

Covey says that the best way to “Begin with the End in Mind” is to develop Mission Statements. To build our mission statement, we need to begin at the centre of our circle of influence. The Centre according to him is the source of our security, guidance, wisdom and power. Security is our sense of worth; Guidance is the source of direction in our lives; Wisdom is our perspective on life and understanding how parts and principles apply and relate to each other; Power is the capacity to act and the strength to accomplish something. If we centre our life on correct principles, we create a solid foundation for our security, guidance, wisdom and power.

Mission statements (personal and professional) involve deep thought, participation of all stakeholders and take time to develop. It involves visualization as well as affirmation. Fulfilling mission statements is an on-going process and involves keeping our goals in mind and making sure that we are aligned with correct principles.

Dr. Charles Garfield has done extensive research on peak performers both in athletics and business. His research showed that most of the world class athletes and peak performers in business are all visualizers. They see, feel and experience it before actually doing what it takes them to succeed in their fields.  Simply stated, they begin with the end in mind.  For example an Indian Victory over West Indies in a one day international at Berbice, in West Indies, gave the inspiration and vision to Kapil Dev, that the Windies were beatable. The rest of course is history when India beat the Windies twice in 1983 in England and lifted the world cup.

Hope you enjoyed this post. In the next post, we will look at the 3rd  habit which is “Put First Things First”.

Reference: 25th Anniversary Edition “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey.

This is the eighth post for #MyFriendAlexa by #Blogchatter. I am taking my blog to the next level with #MyFriendAlexa and #Blogchatter.

About the author

Mani Prithiviraj author

Mani Prithiviraj has a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from BITS, Pilani and a Master's and Doctorate in Mechanical engineering from  Texas A&M University, College Station, USA. He is currently Director of Customer Success at Siemens Industry Software Computational Dynamics India Pvt Ltd, Bengaluru, India. He can be found here.

40 Comments so far

Suchita AgarwalPosted on11:30 am - Sep 27, 2019

A brilliant post and especially the point that any idea gets worked on twice, once in the brain and once when its executed.

Archana SrivastavaPosted on11:37 am - Sep 27, 2019

Your post recalls me all the books of Management Guru Peter Drucker , well said deciding the destination is the first step towards the goal completion.

UrvashiPosted on11:59 am - Sep 27, 2019

What a wonderful read this morning. I have started my own blog and your article does give me food for thought . Mission and Vision statements are definitely something which should be clearly put for any startup.
#damurureads #myfriendalexa

vidhya ThakkarPosted on2:26 pm - Sep 27, 2019

It’s a wonderful post! loved reading it!

Narinder BhatiaPosted on4:15 pm - Sep 27, 2019

nice post on the 2nd habit of Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. Indeed, without a destination, any direction is a waste of effort because its only going to lead us to “nowhere”. It’s a beautifully detailed out post on the topic 🙂

Pragnya MishraPosted on4:42 pm - Sep 27, 2019

The book is the bestseller for years and agrees or not the book does get many re-reads too. Yet, simplifying the chapters for easier understanding and application is commendable.

SrishtiPosted on6:23 pm - Sep 27, 2019

What a brilliant and thoughtful post! Keep spreading your wisdom! Great work.

Ninu NairPosted on6:25 pm - Sep 27, 2019

This is one of the books added by my husband in our bookshelf and has been there ever since. Your post now inspires me to take it out… a great effort by you at simplifying and contextualizing!

Janaki SrinivasanPosted on8:05 pm - Sep 27, 2019

Very impressive, Mani. You have made the ideas simple and easy to follow.

prerna wahiPosted on8:18 pm - Sep 27, 2019

This is a fantastic post and so useful for any writer. I have many takeaways from it. Thanks for sharing it!

TraptiPosted on8:32 pm - Sep 27, 2019

Exactly!! Begin with the End in Mind” means that we need to understand our destination clearly.

writenlivePosted on9:08 pm - Sep 27, 2019

I have loved the book by Stephen Covey and have carried it around with me for a couple of years. Thanks to your post, I got a fresh perspective and a recap.

Shubhra RastogiPosted on10:28 pm - Sep 27, 2019

Liked your blog and a great post. Thanks for sharing #MyFriendAlexa #ShubhraReads

Sonia DograPosted on10:30 pm - Sep 27, 2019

That’s a great piece of advice Mani. Every success story begins in the mind. What we visualise is what takes shape!

Geethica MehraPosted on11:12 pm - Sep 27, 2019

This is a practical and helpful post. The connection between leadership and management is well explained with easy examples.

Supriti GargPosted on12:30 am - Sep 28, 2019

Visualizing and living the destination before actually reaching there is a tough task!! It’s like living a dream….

AsfaPosted on12:43 am - Sep 28, 2019

What a brilliant perspective,mission and vision both are important.#millennialscribbler #myfriendalexa

MatheikalPosted on1:26 pm - Sep 28, 2019

You’re making Stephen Covey easier and more accessible.

Judy MorrisPosted on7:03 pm - Sep 28, 2019

Great post indeed yes the end should always be the focus for winning.

Akanksha SinghPosted on8:14 pm - Sep 28, 2019

Wow… That’s a very lovely analysis… I haven’t read the book yet but this post has inspired me to get my copy soon

Shweta SureshPosted on10:16 pm - Sep 28, 2019

This is a great post that pays tribute to an even greater book. I’d received this book as soon as joined for my induction training at work. It’s a must-read.

Swarnali NathPosted on9:54 am - Sep 29, 2019

Wowww! What an amazing post with so many insightful informations!! Liked it..

Dipika SinghPosted on1:51 pm - Sep 29, 2019

You have shown a nice connection between choices and ability to make those choices.

Leha DivakarPosted on1:58 pm - Sep 29, 2019

This is amazing. I have this book and have seen quite a few people conduct workshops on those principles

Debidutta MohantyPosted on3:45 pm - Sep 29, 2019

I have this book and you have explained it beautifully. Loved the post.

CharuPosted on3:58 pm - Sep 29, 2019

A wonderful post! To think of the end first and then shape our plan makes so much sense!

SarahPosted on5:39 pm - Sep 29, 2019

Was brilliantly written post which was so insightful and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it

Princy KhuranaPosted on12:21 am - Sep 30, 2019

insightful and informative. really enjoyed this.

Srishti Rajeev MendaPosted on12:45 am - Sep 30, 2019

I read this book very long back, being responsible (able to respond) and begin with end in mind are the two habits that stayed with me.

Sindhu Vinod NarayanPosted on4:52 am - Sep 30, 2019

This is one of my favourite books. I loved the article a lot . To think of end result and then plan is a great strategy

#tmmreads #myfriendalexa

Tina SequeiraPosted on3:26 pm - Sep 30, 2019

Great post on a great book.

Mrs. SunshinePosted on4:47 pm - Sep 30, 2019

Wow! This is my favourite book. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey. I cannot begin to describe how much I’m inspired by this book. Thanks for sharing this. #MyFriendAlexa #CloudandSunshineReads

artiPosted on11:42 pm - Sep 30, 2019

this is one of my favorite book

Neha GuptaPosted on12:22 am - Oct 2, 2019

Wonderful post and loved reading it 🙂

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