It’s now more than a quarter of a century old, but I still find myself coming back to it: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. In my most recent re-read of the book, it is Habit 2 which seemed to hold most significance: Begin with the End in Mind.
For those that haven’t read the book, this principle is based on imagination – envisioning the life that you want and aligning all decisions and actions according to this mission.
Becoming the master of your destiny
Covey argues that if you don’t make a conscious effort to visualise who you are and what you want in life, then you are letting everyone and everything around you decide what you will be and what you will do.
Reading the chapter, I found myself asking: How many business owners and business leaders actually do this?
I’ve personally found this particular habit a challenge. It’s so easy to go off course and allow old habits back in which don’t tally with your personal and professional vision. But, even Covey admitted that he wasn’t successful in working towards his mission all the time. He said that he was able to live like this 80% of the time, the other 20% was learning to get back on track.
Accepting the bad days
It’s impossible to make progress in your mission each and every day. We all have weeks where you get to Friday and you think: “I’ve been treading water this week!”. The important thing is to ensure that the following week doesn’t have the same sense of failure – because that’s how we all feel when we don’t manage to dot the Is and cross the Ts like we wanted to, let’s be honest.
To achieve your vision, then, you need to understand that you will be taken off course, which is fine as long as you recognise it and know what needs to be done to re-centre things.
Putting your vision into words
Getting things back to where they should be can be easier said than done, of course. It helps to have your mission statement written down – research from the Dominican University in California suggests you become 42% more likely to achieve your goals and dreams simply by writing them down on a regular basis.
Covey would review his goals in the context of mission statement each week, while accepting that priorities change and his mission needs to reflect this.
Do you have your mission statement written down? Putting your thoughts and ambitions into words is the first step in realising your vision – that’s something Agnentis can help you with. Contact us today to find out more.