Synopsis of the Habit
This habit really begins with a teleological understanding of life. It is a habit that forces one to examine who they want to be at the end of their life, where they want to be, and with whom they want to be in that final moment. I believe that virtue reasoning, which is a branch of teleological ethics, to be the very best form of moral reasoning we have. This is not to discredit the other forms of moral reasoning at all. However, I think it is virtue reasoning that focuses on who we are in Christ. St. Paul writes in Philippians 2:5, “Let the same mind be in you that was* in Christ Jesus.” I believe that while we are thinking about beginning with the end in mind that we must stop and ask ourselves, “How does this conform me to the mind of Christ?” Dr.Thobaben of Asbury Theological Seminary put it this way, “Our primary means of moral reasoning should be virtue reasoning. We need to look at who we want to be in Christ and act accordingly.”
Beginning with the end in mind is all about that! Mr. Covey states it quite well in a nutshell by saying that to live out habit two “is to begin today with the image, picture, or the paradigm of the end of your life as your frame of reference or the criterion by which everything else is examined. Each part of your life—today’s behavior, tomorrow’s behavior, next week’s behavior, next month’s behavior—can be examined in the context of the whole, of what really matters most to you. By keeping that end clearly in mind, you can make certain that whatever you do on any particular day does not violate the criteria you have defined as supremely important, and that each day of your life contributes in a meaningful way to the vision you have of your life as a whole” (emphasis mine). This habit is all about knowing where you are going, so you can know where you are now and the steps you must take to reach that destination.
This habit is a great way to build on habit one, which is being proactive. Habit one says you are the programmer, so habit two states to write the program. I particular like that Mr. Covey seems well-studied in Bowen Family Theory when he talks about the scripts we have received due to different influences whether natural or nurtured. He is right on to talk about how we must rescript our paradigms in order to expose our values and who we really are and who we want to be. This is particular important in writing our program, our own script!
Strengths and Weakness Surrounding the Habit
I believe my strength in this habit lies with my self-awareness, introspection, and determination to always be better. My favorite musician, William Fitzsimmons, sings in his song “Passion Play”, “I just want to be not what I am today. I just want to be better than my friends might say. I just want a small part in Your passion play!” I want to be a better person everyday as I am deified by the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. I believe that discovering Bowen Family Theory and reading a book like Mr. Covey’s has helped me to really focus on who I want to be in Christ as St. Paul wrote. I believe my proactivity and initiative are strengths for me in this habit. I long to be conformed to Christ, to become part of God’s energies.
However, I do believe one of my weaknesses at this moment lies with two things: 1) Not being entirely sure what comes next in my life after graduation or if I will become a minister and 2) Not fully understanding what my values and principles clearly are. This is going to be key in my implementation of this habit.
Implementation of the Habit
To implement this particular habit, I believe I am going to pay a visit to my counselor in the counseling department here at Johnson to start up some career counseling/introspective exploration. I want help in clarifying my values and principles, so that I can fully understand why I make the decisions I do and why I reason morally the way I do.
I also have this great urge to write out my mission statement again. I hope to meditate, pray, read Scripture, and do therapy to help me in my process of writing my personal constitution. I also want to take advice from this great website called yourmorals.org that Dr. Pierce told us about in Capstone. This website is a great tool in helping one understand one’s morals and values. I believe that being proactive to implement the second habit like this will aid me in self-discovery, so that I may use my imagination and conscience as Mr. Covey states to understand my values and principles. Mr. Covey said it best, “Because I am self-aware, because I have imagination and conscience, I can examine my deepest values. I can realize that the script I’m living is not in harmony with those values, that my life is not the product of my own proactive design, but the result of the first creation I have deferred to circumstances and other people. And I can change. I can live out of my imagination instead of my memory. I can tie myself to my limitless potential instead of my limiting past. I can become my own first creator.”
That is my plan for the implementation of this habit. To be not what I am today. To be better.