To achieve your desired outcomes, whether they are related to your career or personal life, it is important to clearly define your goals and create a plan of action. “Begin with the end in mind” is a phrase that suggests that you should start any task or project by considering the desired result or outcome. It is one of the habits of highly effective people, as described in the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey.
The idea is to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and then work backward to plan the steps needed to get there. This can help you stay focused and motivated, and ensure that your efforts are directed toward a specific goal.
Here are a few examples of how this concept can be applied in real life:
Planning a vacation: Before you start planning your vacation, think about what you want to get out of the trip. Do you want to relax on the beach, experience new cultures, or visit historical landmarks? By considering your end goal, you can plan an itinerary that helps you achieve your desired outcome.
Starting a business: When starting a business, it’s important to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. Do you want to make a certain amount of money, create a product that solves a specific problem, or build a company that has a positive impact on the world? By setting specific goals and keeping them in mind as you make decisions, you can increase the chances of success for your business.
Sounds simple enough, but it’s a skill and philosophy that can take a lifetime to master. The best place to look for guidance is in the lives of inspiring individuals who were able to achieve their goals by beginning with the end in mind.
Here are 7 real-life examples of successful individuals who have used the philosophy of “begin with the end in mind”:
1. Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, was renowned for his use of the “begin with the end in mind” philosophy in his approach to innovation and product development. He had a clear idea of what he wanted Apple’s products to achieve and how they should function for the end user, and he worked with his team to bring that vision to fruition.
Jobs was known for his ability to think about the ultimate goal and then reverse engineer a plan to achieve it, rather than simply reacting to immediate challenges or trying to solve problems as they arose. This approach allowed him to bring a level of focus and intentionality to his work and ultimately helped to drive the success and impact of Apple’s products in the tech industry.
2. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey is a highly successful media executive and television host who has made a name for herself in the entertainment industry. She is known for her ability to set clear goals for herself and work towards them with determination and focus.
Oprah has stated that one of the keys to her success has been her ability to “begin with the end in mind,” which means that she visualizes what she wants to achieve before taking any action. This helps her to stay focused and motivated and allows her to work towards her goals with a clear sense of purpose. Oprah is also known for her ability to communicate effectively and connect with her audience, which has contributed to her success.
3. John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, adopted the philosophy as a way to guide his actions towards a specific goal. This goal was to successfully land a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. Kennedy had a clear idea of what he wanted the end result to be, and he worked towards it by setting specific goals and marshalling the necessary resources to achieve them.
4. Bill Gates
Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, is known for his strategic thinking and ability to set clear goals. He is particularly skilled at “working backward” from a desired result, developing a plan to achieve it and then executing that plan. This approach has been a key factor in the success of Microsoft and its products.
Gates knew what he wanted Microsoft’s products to be and how they should function, and he worked closely with his team to make that vision a reality. He was able to communicate his goals and expectations to his team, and he provided the necessary resources and support to help them achieve them. As a result, Microsoft has become one of the most successful and influential tech companies in the world.
5. Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett, one of the most successful business leaders of our time, is known for using the “begin with the end in mind” philosophy in his approach to running Berkshire Hathaway. He has a clear idea of what he wants the company to become in the future, and he works towards that through calculated and strategic decision-making.
One way that he does this is by making long-term investments and holding onto them for extended periods of time. This allows him to focus on the long-term success and growth of the company, rather than short-term gains. In addition to making long-term investments, Buffett is also known for his focus on maintaining a strong corporate culture, as well as a commitment to ethical and responsible business practices.
6. Sam Walton
Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, applied the famous philosophy in his efforts to build the company into a successful retail giant. He knew exactly what he wanted Walmart to become and pursued this vision by prioritizing customer satisfaction, offering low prices, and cultivating a strong company culture.
7. Howard Schultz:
Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, employed this backward thinking philosophy to build the company into a successful global coffee chain. Schultz envisioned today’s Starbucks, with a focus on high-quality coffee, a strong corporate culture, and social responsibility. By keeping this end goal in mind, Schultz was able to make strategic decisions and guide the company toward achieving his desired outcome. As a result, Starbucks has become known for its commitment to excellence and its positive impact on communities around the world.