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Begin with the end in mind

I am currently reading the book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen Covey. What I find interesting is the fact that if you are serious about the book and learning in general you cannot ignore the assignments in the book without feeling bad.  At the end of each chapter you are asked to teach someone else about the habit you’ve just read about. I’ve made the commitment to publish a post about every chapter (so you can confront me if I don’t). I already wrote something about the first chapter and now it’s time for the second chapter. So here we go:

Habit #2: Begin with the end in mind

I’ve got an engineering background and a hardcore engineer loves to design and build stuff. Before you start to make your design I have learnt that it is important to know which output the machine has to deliver.  You can’t expect the machine to do what you want it to do, if you don’t know the desired output yourself in the first place. Sounds logical right…

It’s the same in life of course. You need to think about why you are here. What is it that you are trying to accomplish in your life? Why do you get up every day? That is the key message of this chapter. It seems so logical, yet most of us never take the time to actually think about it. So if you don’t know why you are here (on earth) I challenge you to think about it. In the book this is done by asking you to imagine that you are at your own funeral. Four people will say something about you. A family member, friend, colleague and someone from some community organization you’ve been involved with. If you think about what you would like them to say, it will help you shape your goals. You are going to make this journey called life anyway, you might as well decide in which direction you want to travel. It will help if you begin with the end in mind!

Be proactive (don’t bitch)!

I am currently reading the book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen Covey. What I find interesting is the fact that if you are serious about the book and learning in general you can not ignore the assignments in the book without feeling bad.  At the end of that chapter you are asked to teach someone else about the habit you’ve just read about.  I thought about this and I wondered how I could teach as many people as possible about what I read. My conclusion was: social media/the internet. One person can have a huge audience and \actually make a difference in someone’s life. So here we go:

Habit #1: be proactive!

As I was reading the chapter I first wondered: ‘what the f*ck does being proactive mean?’. Yes sure you can find the definition in the dictionary, but what does it actually mean in practice. My conclusion was that being proactive, in my own words, means that you don’t bitch. Yes, we’ve all been in that situation that we are blaming the world for what’s happening in our life and I call that bitching. I caught myself not being proactive (read: bitching) recently. I was organizing an event and all of a sudden a few days before the event I was not sure if the location  would be available. People allready got a ticket for the event and some of the acts were allready booked and payed. Stuff like this happens every now and then but I could not help but feeling sorry for myself. The worse part was that the cause was outside of my circle of influence. However, and that is the key take-away of this chapter, the way I chose to respond was totally up to me! Every minute you spend feeling sorry about yourself is a waste of time. You can use that time to actually work on solving the issue. So go out there and every time you want to feel sorry about your situation think about habit #1: be proactive! Don’t bitch!

Gewoon beginnen

Vanuit stilstand in beweging komen vergt vaak best veel moeite. Goede ideeën hebben we allemaal en de grootste uitdaging is om deze in praktijk te brengen.  Ze zeggen dat een goed begin het halve werk is. Ik geloof eerder dat een gewoon begin meer dan het halve werk is.