Sunday, August 11, 2013

Creating things - twice

Last week I shared one of Stephen Covey's metaphors about the importance of having the right map in order to find your destination.  No matter how hard you work, no matter how positive your attitude, following the wrong map will not lead you to the correct destination.  The second habit Covey writes about is starting with the end in mind (which reminds me of the Backwards by Design concept).  He writes about the importance of having a clear understanding of both your destination and of where you are now so that you know you are moving in the right direction - and that is is possible to be very busy and yet still not very effective.

Some years ago I attended a presentation by Jim Hayhurst Sr on the importance of climbing the "right" mountain  (Jim was part of the Canadian expedition to Mt Everest in 1988).  Covey uses a similar metaphor when he refers to a ladder leaning against the wrong wall:  every step we take gets us to the wrong place faster.  I'm interested in what he writes about all things being created twice:
"Begin with the end in mind" is based on the principle that all things are created twice.  There's a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation for all things.
He goes on to give examples about planning a trip first and then taking the trip second, or planning how to plant a garden first in your mind or on paper, and then physically designing and planting the garden.  Covey writes that if we do not become responsible for our first creations then we empower other people:
We are either the second creation of our own proactive design, or we are the second creation of other people's agendas. 
I definitely agree with this - and this is something that we also need to teach our students that they need to start thinking and dreaming and creating their own futures.

Photo Credit: @abrunvoll via Compfight cc

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