“I do the very best I know how, the very best I can, and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
Begin with “The End” in mind. This is a great leadership principle taught by Stephen Covey. Having a clear vision and understanding about what success looks like tomorrow is essential for taking the right steps today. At the beginning of the day, you need to know what will define success at the end of the day. Try using the “Five W’s” (Who, What, Where, Why, When) in order to ask yourself success defining questions. The answer to “How” is much easier to answer if you’ve asked the “Five W’s” first.
Here are a few examples of questions you might ask to help you create an image of what success will look like: Who are my “customers”? What do they need most from me and my team? Where do I need to find my customers? When would they most likely need my product or services? Why should they do business with me? Asking the right questions will help you begin to clarify your definition of success. If you are “beginning with the end in mind”, you will also have to determine how to define what “The End” is for you.
For the Christian leader, I believe “The End” is the transition point when we pass from our temporal life on earth to our eternal life in heaven. “The End” is really the beginning of when there will be no end. The Apostle Paul gives us some helpful insight into what success looks like not only in “The End” but also for how we should be living today.
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. (Colossians 3:23-24)
Imagine Jesus looking at you and saying: “Well done my good and faithful servant.” That is a pretty powerful image of what true success will look like in “The End”. Think of how you might ask yourself the right questions today to help you take the right steps in that direction. You might ask yourself questions like these: Who do I really serve? What would Jesus want me to do in my situation? Where could I possibly go that Jesus would not be with me? When should I seek His wisdom? Why have I been entrusted with all that I have?
In “The End”, what you do today really does count. Let me encourage you to live today with an eternal purpose by keeping “The End” in mind. Your journey to “The End” is lived one day at a time. You will discover that your rewards are not only those you receive in the future. Live with “The End” in mind and you will also feel rewarded today.