In the seminal, thought-provoking, deeply spiritual film, “The Sound Of Music”, one of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s songs goes:
Let’s start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read you begin with A-B-C
When you sing you begin with do-re-mi
The first three notes just happen to be
But, I’m going to turn that familiar refrain on its ear.
Because if you really want to change something in your life, you have to start at the very end.
You have to start with an idea of what it is you want, and allow yourself to understand what it will be like, what it will feel like, to have achieved the change you seek.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Stephen Covey wrote that little book — and it’s sold a kajillion billion copies since it came out in 1989. OK, to be really honest, only two of his Habits made me sit up and say, “Yes!” It was “Seek first to understand, then be understood” that helped re-orient my communication style, and “start with the end in mind” which gave me a framework for planning.
You know, it seems as though so many of us are on the way somewhere. But if asked, we don’t really know what the destination might be. We meander and lollygag and sniff corners, but, thank goodness, we don’t get off track! Because there’s absolutely no track to get off in the first place.
Because we’re starting at the beginning and not focusing on the end.
Is there something you want to do in your life? Get promoted? Get married? Lose weight, find love, de-clutter, save money, perhaps? (Funny how my book title naturally works its way into so many places, isn’t it?)
Whatever you want to do, start with the end in mind.
Tell me: What will it be like when you are the director of your office? When you lose 30 pounds? When you find true love? When you work for yourself? Inhabit those feelings. Visualize what your life will be like. Face any fears that come up and deal with them.
See, hear, feel, smell and taste what it will be like when you have what you want.
And by doing so you will be giving yourself a vision. A destination to point toward. You will have created a road map to your own success.
You will know what to do, and how to get there — because you know exactly where to go.
If you are meandering or stuck in the journey of your life, pull over into a quiet rest stop and ask yourself, “What do I want more than anything, right now?”
And with that end in mind, you can get started.