Begin With the End in Mind

Someone gave a speech at my Toastmaster’s club the other day, and he said he liked to “begin with the end in mind”. I thought it was brilliant, although that could just be because it made me realize that I do the same thing.  🙂 The point is that when it comes to your dreams, if you start by thinking about the end goal you can easily work your way backwards and determine the smaller steps or sub-goals that you will need to accomplish in order to achieve the larger goal. In essence, it’s like reverse-engineering your ideal life. And while this might sound kind of technical and scary, it actually makes the process of turning that nebulous dream of yours into reality so much easier.

Knowing your destination is critical

Think about it: If you know where you want to go you can take the steps and do the research to plan out the best route to get yourself there, but if you have no idea what your destination is, you can’t possibly get yourself there by any means because you don’t know where “there” is. Knowing where you want to go in life is critical to getting anywhere or accomplishing anything that matters to you.

The ability to begin with the end in mind is absolutely critical for your success, regardless of what kind of techniques you choose to use along the way: Visualization? Gotta know what scenario you want to visualize. Vision Board? Gotta know what you want to see manifest. Planning? Gotta know what you’re planning for. It all comes down to getting yourself clear on your end goals.

6 steps to begin with the end in mind

Now, because I’m big on the strategies and techniques for making your life easier, I’ve put together a six step process to help you get started with this whole thing (you’re welcome 😉 ). And here’s what you need to do:

  1. Get clear on what you really want. Make sure you know the difference between what you really want and what you just think you want.
  2. Create a plan for yourself. These are the detailed milestones, steps and daily action items that form your roadmap for navigating the course of your dream!
  3. Be consistent in your actions. Commit to taking meaningful action towards making it happen every single day.
  4. Allow yourself to fail. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, for some of your most productive learning and growth will come through these twists in your path.
  5. Don’t avoid risk. Be open to whatever opportunities come your way, even when they seem scary to you; and above all,
  6. Know your own strength. Remember that you have the ability to achieve anything you set your mind to.

Your dreams were put into your heart for a reason. And when you begin with the end in mind by taking the time to understand the specifics of what those dreams would look and feel like, you can then begin the soul-satisfying work of building those dreams from the ground up, exactly the way you want them to be.

photo credit: Andrew_D_Hurley via photopin cc
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