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Commentary - Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Beginning with the end in mind

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Editor's Note: This is the second story in a seven-part series on the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. A class on these habits is offered periodically by the Airman and Family Readiness Center.

Begin with the end in mind. This is the second habit highlighted in the series "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey. A few weeks ago I attended a seminar offered by the Airman and Family Readiness Center and I learned about the seven habits I can develop to become a more effective person.

To begin anything or to get anywhere we have to do some mental preparation first. If we make a goal, we have to visualize how we are going to achieve that goal before we jump into action. To begin with the end in mind is the habit that focuses on personal vision. This is as simple as our vision of how we plan to accomplish losing 10 pounds and can be as complex as our vision of where we want to be in life at 60 years old.

When I sat down to write this story, it wasn't with paper and a pencil. I sat down on my living room floor with my dogs in my lap and just took a few minutes to think. I thought about why I was writing this story, professionally and personally. I asked myself what I wanted to accomplish by writing this story. Ultimately I had two goals, I wanted to write an effective story for the base website and I wanted it to be so effective that people want to find out more about The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People seminars offered by the Airman and Family Readiness Center.

Those few minutes I sat there to think about my goal and how I was going to achieve it made all the difference. It gave me direction for where I wanted to go and all I had to do was exercise time management and creativity to take me there. I take time every day to visualize my plans before I take them on. Now when I engage in a conflict, I take a moment to contemplate the situation or circumstances and try to come up with a solution to work towards. This helps me be more open minded and compassionate toward others and situations.

"Sow a thought, reap an action;
Sow an action, reap a habit;
Sow a habit, reap a character;
Sow a character, reap a destiny."

This first line of this quote by Scottish author Samuel Smiles sums up the principle behind this habit; to begin with the end in mind.

No matter how easy or how difficult a task may seem, I challenge you to make a blueprint before you take it on. Take time to visualize what your final objective is, start at the beginning and work your way there. If you want to find out more information about this concept or how to make more efficient blueprints in your life, contact the Airman Family Readiness Center at 720-847-6681.
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