The key point of “begin with the end in mind” is to begin today with the image of the end of your life as your frame of reference for everything that you do on a daily basis. Each part of your life—today, tomorrow, next week, next month—are lived according to what really matters to you. Covey talks of an internal compass that guides every action, and this exercise, when done properly, can take you to your deepest values and the very core of your internal compass and what is most important to you. By keeping that end clearly in mind, you can make certain that each day of your life contributes in a meaningful way to the vision you have of your life as a whole.
Find a quiet space where you can be alone and uninterrupted.
Now imagine that you are at your own funeral.
there will be three speakers at the funeral:
a family member, a close friend, and a colleague.
Now ask yourself (and answer):
What is it that you would want each of these people to say about you? About your life? What kind of husband, father, mother, son, daughter will you have been? What kind of friend? What kind of work associate? What character and contribution do you want them to have seen in you? What difference do you want to have made in their lives?
Write down your thoughts.
Come back and visit these thoughts daily for the next 20 days (and change, adapt, and add to them as the days go on and you think about this more and more).
Your answers will be a guide to your vision and values.
And they may well be different to what you thought they were before this exercise.