Start with the End in Mind!

What if you suddenly arrived at the place you've wished for, or dreamed about, or worked so hard to get to… Would you recognize it? Do you know what it looks like?

Have you taken the time to really see it in your mind? If not, what would keep you from going right past it? Or even missing an opportunity to end up there?

In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, perhaps the most practical, maybe even the most powerful, of those habits is Dr. Covey's advice to "Begin with THE END in mind." Success, by design. Whether a blueprint for your next year's marching band program or a recruitment plan for building your instrumentation. It works. Begin with THE END in mind. That's how to arrive at any destination you desire. It's been said many different ways over the years… Start any project or goal by thinking about where you want to end up.

Epictetus (like Shakespeare, but older) got the ball rolling toward THE END in the second century when he wrote, "First say to yourself what you would be, then do what you have to do."  That is beginning with THE END in mind? "I choose…IS!" Now how can I become that? Or how can I get there? Or how can we make it happen? The answers are in the questions. And in knowing what success looks like when you arrive there. Saying to yourself what your program might look like and then beginning the process to arrive there one day. It takes hard personal work on yourself, your strengths, your skills, your values and how you can bring that value to your students until you arrive at THE END you have in mind.

If today is the first day of the rest of your life… how will you begin it? How will you begin your list of new beginnings? Beginning can be easy to do. Like… beginning to write hand-written notes to say thank you. Beginning new students on instruments that you are going to be short on in two years. Beginning to learn about new teaching techniques, or reviewing techniques from someone (you consider successful) has recommended. Beginning to write down your goals. Beginning your new teaching techniques.

Begin with something new in mind… The End. The who or what, the someone or something you want to become. Beginning with THE END in mind is a major key in discovering your success. And understanding when you do, that's the real payoff (the arriving) is in THE BECOMING. What you will become on your way to THE END.

Successful Directors and successful programs know it lies in our personal commitment to go there… All the way to THE END.

Here's to great Endings!