Hello! Welcome to another episode of the Feel Good English Podcast. This is Kevin, your host and teacher. In this episode, the second episode in this series, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, we’re going to talk about developing a clear understanding of where you want to be after you achieve your goals.
Oftentimes, people think what is important is to be successful, make lots of money, be the best athlete, get the best grades, be popular and famous and the most beautiful. But this is where people often go wrong. And eventually, when they do reach their goal of being the prettiest girl on Instagram, they find little fulfillment in their accomplishment.
It all goes back to the beginning and being able to know why you are doing what you’re doing. So when you get to the end point, you feel good about it. This comes down to self-awareness, knowing your values, knowing who you are.
And Stephen Covey, in the book, gives you a couple of tasks on how to discover what might be the most important things for you to consider when making big decisions and starting new projects and having a clear path based on your values.
In this episode, I will talk about a couple of ideas Stephen Covey gives on how to direct our actions, so we can find fulfillment and happiness once we reach our goals. And interestingly enough, it has something to do about your funeral.
So, listen to this lesson here. We will get into how to visualize and set up a future for yourself that you will be happy and fulfilled by before dedicating so much time and effort into things that might take you down the wrong direction. So, let’s get started.
The second habit in this book, the second episode in this miniseries is begin with the end in mind. I think this is extremely important. Begin with the end in mind.
So many of us, we work so hard on goals, trying to achieve them as fast as possible. But we really don’t even know why we’re trying to reach these goals.
An example, you’re at a company and you really want to become a manager. Of course, you probably get better pay, your salary increases, maybe more responsibility. And you try to get there as fast as possible.
So then you become a manager, you make more money, you have a lot more work, you’re stressed out more. You do have a new car, but you’re usually in that car stressed out. Often, we don’t think about what we really want in the end.
We need to start with a clear destination in mind of where do we want to be. This is great because you can use your imagination. This is where we visualize the future. This is where we dream of the future we want.
And Stephen Covey uses an example of your funeral. “What do I want people to say about me at my funeral?” So literally visualize you’re lying down in the casket, peaceful. You’ve got your nice suit on, your nice dress on. Somebody may have put nice make-up on you (I guess if you’re a man, you still have make-up because you’re dead and you need to look pretty).
What sort of person do you want to be remembered as, somebody who worked hard, had a lot of money, didn’t care about anybody else as long as they made a lot of money and was successful, whatever that means, or somebody who cared a lot about their family and put their family first and the needs of others first, whatever that may be? You could probably imagine what you would want to be remembered as.
And this is pretty private. I’m not going to talk about what I want to be remembered as. I think these things are a little bit private. You don’t have to share this with the world. And the big word here is self-awareness. Self-awareness is something that I think is so important. And for me, I’m always trying to connect, “What do I value in life? What’s important to me?”, not what other people prefer, not what they think is right for my life.
A lot of times, people think what’s good for them is good for me too. Of course, that’s just the way people are I think. They assume that everybody is the same. They think if its’ good for them. It’s going to be good for us. Maybe your parents are like that. They grew up in a different time, a different generation. So, they have different values. They assume it’s right for you too, and that’s fine.
But awareness, being aware of who we are, helps us live an authentic life. Be authentic.
Begin with the end in mind. What is the meaning behind the goals that I set for myself? What do I really want to achieve from this? What are the feelings, the emotions that I’m going to create from these goals? What are the feelings and emotions I will help be able to create for other people if I achieve these goals.
So, taking action on this, what do you do now? Again, visualize in detail your own funeral. Who is there? What are they saying about you, about how you lived your life, about the relationships you’ve had? What do you want them to say?
Now, you could get a little more specific and start breaking down different roles in your life, professional, personal, your community. Write some goals down, some long-term goals, goals for the future that you want to achieve for each of these different roles, professional, personal, community. Just write some goals down.
Based on these values, you’ll have maybe a clear vision now of what you want.
Also, habit there is connected with this. It’s going to help you focusing on specific actions to take to help you reach these goals, to help you reach the end.
There are only a few words I’m going to talk about from this episode. The first one is self-awareness.
Self-awareness is knowing yourself, knowing who you are, knowing what you believe, knowing what you like, knowing what you don’t like, being authentic really.
Next word, assume. Assume often means to think you know something without having all of the information that you need to correctly know it or not. So, you assume somebody is tired just by the way that they look. Now, you’re not totally certain, but you assume they are. “Oh, I assumed she was tired because she was up all night.” So that would be assume.
You could also assume in another way, to assume the position of. I’m assuming the position of the CEO because the other CEO disappeared. So, I assumed the position of CEO. Two meanings there.
Last one, roles. I already said role model, but also a role is a position that you take in a certain situation. What is your role at work? “My role is director. I am the person that directs the office.” What was Brad Pitt’s role in that movie? What character did he play? What character did he play? That would be a role. So, R-O-L-E is a role. It’s a position or character in –
A role model is somebody who you’ve looked up to, a person who you want to model. So, it’s a person in a position of somebody who you want to model. Makes sense? A role model.
So, that was the lesson for today, begin with the end in mind. I know it’s a little intense if you’re thinking about your funeral. But the purpose of that is just to think about what values are important to you. It’s easy to think that what other people’s values are are our values, and we just follow the path of other people. But we really need to discover our true selves, what’s valuable to us.
And just in order to be more fulfilled and knowing the values and knowing the direction, having a clear understanding of where you’re going can help with big picture things like career, school, where you want to be in five years, ten years, 20 years from now.
And it can also help with small things. Maybe you have a monthy goal. “At the end of this month, I want to weight this amount of pounds.” Think, “Okay, at the end of this month, I will weight this. And why do I want this? What’s the purpose of this?”, not just blindly going in, but having a clear destination and a clear reason for doing what you are doing.
And here’s your joke to leave you for the day. “What did the janitor say when he jumped out of the closet? What did the janitor say when he jumped out of the closet?” “Supplies!”
See you in the next lesson.