HABIT 2: Begin with the End in Mind
By Emily Bouchard & Lauren Kenney
When we reviewed this habit as a team, April Burrows, our resident Chief Dot Connector, started us off with the very easy reflection question: “How do you want to be remembered?” We were asked to think about what we wanted people to say at our funerals.
Intense, right?! That’s just kind of the Flow way - you get used to it!
If you’re working through this quick 7 Habits of Highly Effective People summary from Flow, we suggest you do this activity right now. Get out a scrap piece of paper and write down how you want to be remembered. Do any phrases, key words, or feelings spring to mind?
To finish off the activity, use these core ideas to draft up your life’s mission. We know - it’s more common for a company or non-profit to have a mission statement. It feels a bit weird, but at the end of the day if you’re not being thoughtful of where you’re going, you can’t be thoughtful about how to get there.
Even though it’s scary, we’re going to share our life missions with you here!
Emily Bouchard, Project Maven:
To cultivate community - bringing people and ideas together in the spirit of curiosity, creativity, and collaboration.
Lauren Kenney, Beauty & The Brand:
To adventure through life with intention and positive impact.
Just a quick note is that your life mission can totally change - we all realize new goals or are presented with opportunities we could never have imagined. This is an activity that can be repeated as often as you would like.
The ultimate purpose of this exercise is to help you re-prioritize the activities you do on a daily basis. Once you’re thinking about the big picture - it’s easier to see where your efforts, time, and resources might be wasted and/or need to be re-evaluated.
Applying This Habit in Project Management and Life || Emily Bouchard
From a Project Management perspective, we’ve actually talked about this before! Starting at the end will help you get clear on what you’re trying to achieve. Right when you begin a project ask yourself, “What’s the mission statement?” or put another way, “Why?”
Once you have the core mission, then you can think about the components that will really bring that vision to life. And then you can break those big steps into small manageable chunks by prioritizing them and thinking about how the pieces affect one another.
From a personal perspective, I had never really spent time thinking about how my workplace’s or clients’ mission statements were interrelated with my own life’s mission. We naturally find work that interests us and that we’re passionate about - but if we’re not thoughtful about the overarching mission statements we could easily find ourselves working on missions that are out of alignment and/or in opposition with one another. That’s bound to be frustrating. And yet this would be so hard to recognize without doing the work of thinking about your own life’s mission.
By doing this exercise it helped me reflect on previous life experiences and recognize where an employer, co-worker, and client may have had a completely different mission statement from my own life’s mission. We were valuing two very different things - and it makes sense why we weren’t able to collaborate more fully and effectively. This is a tool I’ll be applying for the rest of my life, especially when trying to start a new project with someone else - whether that’s a new position, relationship, or anything else!
Applying This Habit in Design and Branding and Life || Lauren Kenney
Design and Branding
When approaching any design or branding project, it is extremely valuable to understand the reasons why each piece is being created. Understanding the end goal will help to inform each design choice along the way. We want to understand who the target audience of the brand is as a whole, and ensure that each individual piece of design work is not only effective in it’s direct purpose, but fits into the brand’s larger mission.
This habit is something that I naturally applied to tasks at work, but had never incorporated into my own life until we worked through it as a team. In the same way we outlined the importance of knowledge of the end goal in the previous paragraph, the same also rings true in daily life. We want to make sure that the places that we are spending our time and energy through our life are leading toward the ultimate goal that, realistically, will grow and evolve as we do.
Habit #2 Challenge: What’s your personal mission statement? Can you easily see how it fits in with your company’s mission statement? Tell us in the comments!