Aug 9, 2012

Continually Evaluate

I will begin always with my end in mind , so that I may CONTINUALLY EVALUATE what the true priorities are in MY life, taking care not to be a second hander or a people pleaser.


Modern life can be very hectic to say the least. Sometimes it feels like "the tail is wagging the dog, rather than the dog wagging the tail."

Because of this, it's only too easy to get caught up into repeating routines, out of sheer habit, long after the time where those routines have stopped producing desired results, or even more tragically, after the results we once desired are no longer our true priorities.

That's why keeping our "end in mind", what we ultimately want to accomplish, as well as making sure we are not confusing means and ends will give us the proper long term perspective. An example of confusing means and end is someone who has a goal of making a million dollars. This is not an end, it is simply a means to the end of improving life quality by giving choices, dignity, as well as the end of personal growth through overcoming the challenges that it takes to accomplish that "means". (all contributing to your highest moral purpose: your own happiness.)

That's why it is imperative to "continually evaluate" not only the effectiveness of our methods, but, as mentioned above, whether the "desired results" of the past, are still the results we desire.

Evaluating is when we step back and look at the bigger picture to ask, "What's it all about, Alfie?"

Doing this should prevent the insanity of "repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results" or what Stephen Covey referred to as "being busy climbing the ladder of success, only to get to the top and find that it is leaning against the wrong wall."

Also, by always being clear about our end in mind and the corresponding priorities that go with accomplishing it, we will remain motivated by a crystal clarity of purpose.

In future entries, I will visit how all this ties into the three cardinal principles as described by Ayn Rand: Reason, Purpose and Self-Esteem.

Thanks again for reading.

Aug 5, 2012

Begin With MY End in MInd

I will BEGIN ALWAYS WITH MY END IN MIND, so that I may continually evaluate what the true priorities are in MY life, taking care not to be a second hander or a people pleaser.

Note: Credit to Stephen Covey... Habit #2 of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Begin with the end in mind.

Note: Credit to Ayn Rand.... "MY".

At this time, with the passing of Stephen Covey, even though I eventually came to disagree with some of his core premises, I obviously need to acknowledge the profound effect his teachings have had on my life, as reflected throughout the mission statement, the elaboration on which, form the nucleus of this blog.

Beginning with the end in mind, reflects the proper use of the mind in exercising the uniquely human ability to imagine various future outcomes to our choices and based on this, to choose the action that is most likely to result in our desired outcome.

That desired outcome may be based on a very short time frame, such as what we wish to accomplish in a given day, or even in one telephone conversation, but any short term goal, in order to conform to this principle, must also align with our ultimate life mission. (and this assumes one has taken the time to deliberately decide what that is)

While the details of life missions will be unique to each individual, I believe that everyone's highest moral purpose is the achievement of his own happiness. This principle comes from the influences of Ayn Rand who would have rejected Stephen Covey's religious premises.

This selfish outlook however, can only be accomplished in alignment with proper principles, meaning, in conjunction with a win win outlook (habit 3) which is, in my opinion, pretty much identical to Rand's rejection of sacrifice, either that of the individual to others, or of others to the individual.

MY end is my primary purpose, but I emphasize that MY end cannot be accomplished in a vacuum, and my happiness is maximized through my collaboration with, and through my loving relationships with the people that I choose to travel with on my life journey.

Rand saw principles as being aligned with objective reality and Covey saw his god as being the source of principles, but quickly added that many people, even in his own organization, while agreeing with the principles themselves, had differing opinions as to the source of those principles.

He pointed out that he not only accepted people's rights to hold differing opinions to his, but held them in reverence based on the fact that this was part of each person's quest to reach for the best within themselves.

Ayn Rand did once say in an interview with Phil Donohue, that she liked the expressions "Thank God." and "God Bless You.", not because she took them literally as she did not accept the supernatural, but because it reflected the "highest possible"

Thanks for reading.