Day 9

Week 2: Seven Habits

Day 9: Habit #2 – Begin With the End in Mind

Habit 2, “Begin with the end in mind,” is based on principles of personal leadership, which means that leadership is the first creation and management is the second.

The concept of Gevurah come in here as we go from proactively ‘doing the right thing’ (leadership) to reactively contemplating what we need to do to get there – ‘doing things right’ (management). Needless to say, these two go hand-in. When they don’t, failure is a certainty.

In Genesis 22, the ‘right thing’ turned out to be not sacrificing Isaac.  The test of Abraham had the “end in mind,” as we see here:

Genesis 22:18 – “All the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your descendants, because you have obeyed My command.”

Part of Habit 2 is developing a “principle-based” center. We can find our principles by inner reflection, taking the time to include that which is pertinent to ‘keeping the end in mind,’ and eliminating that which isn’t.

This process is called ‘tsimstum,’ a restriction whose purpose is to ‘push aside’ what is not pertinent (or ‘real’) and focus on attaining a goal – even one in the distance future.

Another aspect of Habit #2 is this:

“Habit 2 is based on imagination–the ability to envision in your mind what you cannot at present see with your eyes. It is based on the principle that all things are created twice. There is a mental (first) creation, and a physical (second) creation. The physical creation follows the mental, just as a building follows a blueprint.”
– Stephen Covey

We see this type of extension between the lives of Abraham and Isaac:

Genesis 17:19,21 – “Your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will name him Isaac. I will establish My covenant with him as an eternal covenant to his descendants after him …  I will establish My covenant with Isaac who Sarah will bear to you at this time next year.”

Here’s an interesting article from Aish haTorah about the aspects of Mercy and Judgment in the work, “Les Miserables.”