Create Your Life Plan
If we would only give the same amount of reflection to what we want
out of life that we give to the question of what to do with two weeks’
vacation, we would be startled at our false standards and the aimless
procession of our busy days. – Dorothy Canfield Fisher
In the Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, bestselling author Stephen Covey says that Habit 2 is to “Begin with the End in Mind.”1 In his excellent book, The E-Myth Revisited, author Michael Gerber makes the ultimate application of this principle. He says,
I’d like you to imagine that you are about to attend one of the most important occasions of
your life.It will be held in a room sufficiently large to seat all of your friends, your family, your business associates—anyone and everyone to whom you are important and who is important to you.
Can you see it?
“The walls are draped with deep golden tapestries. The lighting is subdued, soft, casting a warm glow on the faces of your expectant guests. The chairs are handsomely upholstered in a golden fabric that matches the tapestries. The golden carpeting is deeply piled.
“At the front of the room is a dais, and on the dais a large, beautifully decorated table with candles burning at either end.
“On the table, in the center, is the object of everyone’s attention. A large, shining, ornate box. And in the box is … you! Stiff as the proverbial board.
“Do you see yourself lying in the box, not a dry eye in the room?
After reading this short vignette, I asked myself, “What will they say when I am dead?”
This is an incredibly powerful question. To answer it, you have to “fast forward” to the end of your life and look back. This exercise forces you to think about the things that matter most.