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Being an Effective Person

#1 Begin with the end in mind

You may not realize it, but you do it all the time. “Beginning with the end in mind” that is. You draw up a blue print before you build a house. You read a recipe before you bake a cake. You create an outline before you write a paper.

One of the best scenes in Alice in wonderland, is where the Cheshire cat, gives poor lost Alice advice on which way she should go.

WOULD you tell me which way I ought to walk from here?” asked Alice.

That depends on where you want to get to.” said the cat.

“I don’t much care where.” said Alice.

Then it doesn’t matter which way to walk.” said the cat.

Visualization is the key here people. You have to imagine what it is you want and then baby step through the bench marks to get there. Here’s an exercise to try. Let’s have a "begin with the end in mind" experience here now.

Using just your imagination, find a place where you can be a lone without interruption. Turn off your TV, Phone, computer, radio and any other sounds. Ready?

OK now clear your mind of everything. Don’t worry about your friends your school your work your family your bills, or that zit on your fore head. Just focus breath deep and open your mind up. In your mind’s eye, visualize someone walking towards you about a half a block away. At first you can’t see who it is, but as they near you, and this person gets closer and closer you suddenly realize, believe it or not, that it’s you; but not you today. You as you would like to be one year from now. Now think deeply. What have you done with your life over the past year? How do you feel inside? What do you look like? What characteristics do you possess? (Remember this is how you would like to be a year from now)

OK float on back to reality now. If you were a good sport and actually tried this experiment, you probably just got in touch with your deeper self. Specifically you just got a feel for what was important to you. And that is worth more than anything. You also just got a feel for what you’d like to accomplish this next year. That is called beginning with the end in mind. And it doesn’t even hurt. In fact this exercise has only taken 5 minutes out of your life.

One guy, Jim, wrote this about “beginning with the end” in mind.

When I feel frustrated or get depressed, I have found something that really helps me. I go someplace where I can be a lone, and then I close my eyes and visualize mentally where I want to be when I am an adult. I try to see the whole picture of my “dream life’ and then I automatically begin to think about what it’s going to take to get there. What I need to change and what I need to plan out. This technique started when I was a Ninth grader, and today I am on my way to making some of those visualizations a reality.

This works people, at any age. It has worked for me. Thinking beyond today is pretty exciting, as this senior testified, but more importantly it helps you take charge of your life. You are in control. You make good things happen for you.

#2 A Go the Extra Mile

This goes hand in hand with "beginning with the end in mind". This little truth will concrete your success in life folks. I mean this in a couple of ways.

First, whether you are either asked to do something, or you are offering to do something, remember that if something is worth doing in the first place, then it is worth doing well. And while you are at it, what little touches can you offer to improve it? For example, who would you rather go to for your shoes to be polished? “Mr. A” does a wonderful “buff and polish” and is timely and not too expensive. “Mr. B” also does a wonderful buff and polish, he is also timely and not expensive, but he is also cheerful and interested in you and whistles while he works so after your polish, you go on your way feeling on top of the world!

“Mr. B” just went the extra mile for you. He didn't just polish your shoes; he also lifted your spirits and made you feel good.

If you are offering a co-worker assistance with copying some documents, go the extra mile and ask if she needs a hand stapling them or collating them. Going the extra mile need not involve a large expense of time, energy or money, but it's value to the recipient is often priceless, and one day, it will be reciprocated. My mom, step dad, and grandmothers taught me this well.

So if you want to be a defective person, and begin with NO end in mind, well then don’t have a plan. Avoid goals and structure like scheduling. And never think about tomorrow. Why worry about the consequences of your actions? Live for the moment. Act contrary to what is right. “Party on for tomorrow we die.” (It's a hard fact to face because we all love to do some of these things, but its true none the less.)

It is very hard to create something good when you are about the business of destroying it. Don't do this.

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