Begin with the end in mind


There is an old adage that the end is just the beginning, while this is true in the sense that life exists in frequently opposing forms (night and day, joy and sorrow, sickness and health), it also has a radically different and profound meaning.  I want you to consider that its possible that every person who has ever achieved happiness or success had to start with the end in mind to achieve it.  While it's true that the happiness is achieved more from the journey than reaching the destination, its the idea of being on a set course, the idea of living a life with purpose that is truly fulfilling to us on a deeper level.


This leads me to the idea, to begin with the end in mind.  In 7 Habits of highly effective people, we learn this important principle to direct the course of our lives.  To begin with the end in mind means this, imagine yourself in 10 years, see yourself and try to envision as many details as possible.  What do you look like?  How do you act?  What are you doing, and what great things have you achieved?  When you imagine your perfect future, what are you doing, where are you living, and what makes you who you are?  Focus deeply on this dream, use your imagination and try to really see these things before you.  After you can clearly see the end point, you can start planing to make it reality.


Imagine your life as a boat about to set out to sea on voyage.  There are two ways your boat can depart and you have to make a choice.  The first choice is to hop on board with no supplies, lower the sails, and let the wind take you where ever it leads you.  The second choice is to begin with the destination in mind; in this scenario you load the boat with all the supplies you will need, you plot out the course you will take, and you plan for contingencies.  Which boat would you rather be on?  The one with a plotted destination, or the one floating randomly through the wind.  It should be obvious that almost certainly the first ship will never make it safely to shore, while the second has a much greater chance of letting down its anchor at its destination.


Imagine building a house with no blueprint, or going on a vacation with charted route or GPS.  The first step in any undertaking is to decide what you want to do, or where you want to go, then you decide how is best to get there, and how to make it happen.  If you you aren't going anywhere, that is where you are going to end up.


The same applies with your Jiu-Jitsu, which ship is your game?  Are you out to sea, just flowing in your rolls lost in the wind, or do you have a plan for improvement?  When you really want to improve in Jiu-Jitsu you need to ask yourself these questions:  What do you want your game to look like, what moves do you want to do, what are your weaknesses, what are your strengths, what needs the most improvement?  If you are not willing to look inwardly at yourself and start taking responsibility for your own progress no one else will do it for you.  If you want results, progress, and success you have to have a plan, this means not showing up to class with nothing in mind and just trying to win every roll.  It means having a goal each class, a position to work on, a problem to fix.  


Whether you believe it to be true or not, your life is what you make it.  If you see nothing but bad, it will be nothing but bad, and if you see nothing but good, you will have nothing but good.  Its up to you, you can take action, you can plan your course, you can direct your life in whatever direction you choose.  Though things may not, and will not, go exactly as you have planned, you stand a much better chance of living your dreams and achieving your goals if you take each step with those dreams in mind.