Begin With the End in Mind

Aleigh Knudsen

Aleigh Knudsen

As they say – measure twice, cut once. Plan ahead so you don’t waste time and materials when you have to redo something because you messed it up the first time. It makes sense for most tasks in life, but what about life in general? On your eightieth birthday, you can’t go back and try again because you are dissatisfied with the life you lived. No re-dos, second tries, nothing like that. You can, however, begin with the end in mind.

Habit 2 in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective College Students focuses on living life with vision, mission, and purpose. Developing a mission statement allows people to recognize what is important to them and attempt to live their life in a way that abides by their mission. It can help guide everyday actions as well as long-term decisions. It can be playful, “I want to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am.” or serious, “My mission is to live with integrity and to make a difference in the lives of others.” It can be long or short, it can rhyme or not rhyme, anything goes.

Personally, developing my mission statement has made a major impact in my life. My mission statement is simple, but is always in the back of my mind. I think about it when people ask for favors, when I am presented with different opportunities, when I am not sure what I want to do next in life, anything. It guides me to make decisions and act in a way that will ultimately make me the kind of person that I want to be.

Before I attended the workshop series The 7 Habits of Highly Effective College Students, I had not really considered what kind of person I want to be in life. I acted the way I acted because that was what I wanted to do or what I thought was best, but did not have any formal purpose to abide by. Now that I have a mission, it is easier to make decisions because I know what I truly care about.

If you’re interested about writing a personal mission statement as well as learning about the other six habits, register for the The 7 Habits of Highly Effective College Students at the link below. As always, feel free to come by the Dux Center in Taylor 102 for any leadership materials or questions you may have.

http://info.jmu.edu/dux/7habits/

-Aleigh Knudsen