Begin with the end in mind

I was having a nice conversation with my little boy, Heaven, on how we can improve our character or personality.  There was one thing that came to mind and I didn’t mind refreshing my son’s memory about Stephen R. Covey’s book 7 Habits of Highly Effective Individuals.

The one habit that really got both of us excited was habit # 2, which was “Begin with the end in mind.”

In this regard, it simply means having a vision of what you want to accomplish.  In philosophical jargon, it’s essentialism over existentialism.

But what then would make it significant in helping us improve our sense of self, of character?

Simply put,  if who we want to be is clear enough in our head, everything we do – our actions, our words and everything else in between – will be geared toward achieving who we want to be, eventually.  However, this is easier said done.

It takes approximately 21 days to form a habit.  And according to Stephen R. Covey, to  “begin with the end in mind” is a habit.  So get on it!

And here’s why I think we should apply this habit to our daily lives:

A sense of direction

Wouldn’t it be nice to wake to every morning knowing why is it you do what you do and why you plan your day according to the way you plan your day?

A sense of self 

Just like wanting to be a pilot, an astronaut, a GRO or a Teacher when you were young and little, seeing yourself as who you want to be can help you develop a sense of self.

A sense of standard 

Knowing what and who you want to be makes it clear what you’re truly made of.  When you veer away from the path or when the path you take doesn’t lead you to where you should be headed for, then you know that you’re definitely on the wrong path, thus making it easier for you to catch your mistakes.

A sense of fulfillment 

When you find yourself complaining about being in the daily grind, knowing why you do to accomplish what you had wanted to accomplish will make it easier for you to understand why you are currently doing the things you are doing, thus giving you a sense of fulfillment.

At the end of the day, your fate is what you make of it.  You don’t hit the road, driving aimlessly.  You need to know where you have to go and you plan accordingly.  And when all you see is what is in front of you, then you definitely have a HUGE problem!  Make it a habit to begin with the end in mind!


Paco Arespacochaga is a musician/songwriter for the award winning band Introvoys (  He runs his own media company, 2heaven Media (  He is also a husband, a father and a friend. Read more of his thoughts by going to and send him an email at

Email Email  |  Print Print

Leave a Reply