July 23, 2012

Visualize What You Want in Life

Seven Habits of
Highly Effective
People book
We recently lost an influential author, Stephen R. Covey.  Most people, if they have not read the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, have at least heard about it.  Mr. Covey was once named one of Time magazine's 25 Most Influential Americans and his book has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide.  Although all seven  habits are impactful, the one that has influenced me the most is Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind.
What this habit says to me is that it is important to have goals.  As the saying goes “if you do not know where you are going, any road will take you there.”  Instead of being a victim of circumstances, make a decision on the type of life that you will find fulfilling.  A favorite activity I use in my training workshops is to have everyone picture their retirement party.  Who will speak and what do you want them to able to say about you when you retire?  You can use this same concept with asking yourself where you want to be at the end of the year or at the end of the day. What accomplishments will you have achieved?  What road will you be on?  What will make you smile with satisfaction?
Here are a few tips to help you “Begin With the End in Mind”:
  1. Visualize Your Life:  What do you see yourself doing?  What is the environment?  Who do you interact with?  What makes you happy and how can you use your natural abilities and skills? Once you decide on what you want to do, examine how to get there.  For example, will you require more experience or education to fulfill your dream?
  2. Create Action Plans: What gets planned gets accomplished.  Creating a to-do list every day is like taking steps down the road you want to travel.  It may take a while but at least you know you are on the right path and are making progress to your destination.
  3. Visualize Your Day: Before I get out of bed in the morning, I visualize my day and what will give me a sense of accomplishment or satisfaction.  I picture myself focused and easily completing the tasks I have outlined on the day's to-do list.  The items on the to-do list bring me closer to the picture I have of the life I want to lead.
Everyone’s definition of a life well lived will be different.  The time to do something about it is now, so find your road and you will start making progress towards the life you want to live and the end you have in mind. It is living your life without regrets. 

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