Begin with THE END.

Seven Habits BoardOn the back wall in the center of my seventh grade classroom, is a board that displays Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Habit 2 reads “Begins with THE END in mind: know what you want and how you are going to achieve it.”

Not the end, but THE END!

As a teacher I know this truth well. Decisions on what to teach, how to teach it, and when to teach it all revolve around mastery of an objective looks like. BUT of even higher importance is that I consider the ending to my students’ stories and plan the itinerary for the day, week, month, and year in accordance.

This is an expectation we hold of all of all professionals.

AND leaders are those with a vision and a plan.

AND, if we claim to be a follower of Christ, are we not also called to be leaders?

So, then, fellow leaders, what is your vision? What does THE END look like for you?

Here’s one picture of THE END for me. (This is the biblical image, I have an earthly one as well.)

Lead Me where my trust is without borders

While it’s a little hard these days to find an actual photograph of Peter walking to Jesus out on the water ;), this picture reminds of not only that biblical image, but the manner in which I want to accomplish it.

That’s right. My ending looks like walking on water. That point at which I finally reach Jesus out on the water and completely embrace Him because I made it, that point is THE END.

Peter is the only human who ever has ever walked on water. No one else will ever hold that position, yet some read the story and see a man who failed. And others see an excuse for never leaving the boat.

I read it and see a man who was no longer amazed by Jesus, but finally understood (Mark 6:51-52).

I see a man who connected what Jesus had just done with the fish in feeding the 5000 to what Jesus was capable of doing.

I see a man, who when His focus was completely on Jesus, accomplished the impossible.

And when I reach THE END, it won’t matter how many times Jesus had to put His hand out to rescue me.

The End start here

In achieving this ending,  I also don’t want to “get down out of the boat” in a timid, crunched over, and fearful manner. I want to jump in feet first, never letting the fear of drowning stop me. For in losing it all, I gain Christ.

Here’s what I’m sure of: I’m sure to fail, sure to be rescued, and sure that even though I don’t know how to walk on water, Jesus will show me the way as soon as I step out of my boat.Tweet This

What’s THE END for you? I’d love to be inspired by your visions.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Corie Clark

    Great post Shelly! I agree. It is so important to begin with the end. If we walk around aimlessly we’ll most likely end some place we don’t want to be. If I try, every day, to do at least one thing to get me to the end I desire, I feel like I’ve made good use of my time here on earth.

    Keep up the good work! xox

  • Anna from Learn Like A Mom!

    I have so many visions jumping around in my head, I need to work on my plan! I think it’s great that you are helping your students think for themselves on what it means to take planned steps to carry out a vision, with the end in mind!

    • Shelly Tiffin

      Thanks for stopping by Anna! I know what you mean by having lots of visions. It’s easy to get lost in them.

  • Jennifer Kaufman

    I love this. My girls’ Kindergarten class actually introduced me to the Seven Habits (I mean, obviously I’ve heard of them for years – but never gave them a second glance). We have seen such great changes in them as “leaders” even at five… though I admit this one is VERY tough for them. Thank you for the reminder of how important it is to model it!

    • Shelly Tiffin

      That’s awesome! I love that a kinder class is using these. I read a book about using them in the classroom and it was full of case studies about how it changed the kids and the climate of the school. But yes, I can see how at five, this would be tough. I think it’s even harder as adults sometimes though too. We listen to self-doubt and our peers who question and discourage go after your dreams. At least at five years old anything is still possible for them. Thanks for stopping by.