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Begin With the End in Mind:Do You Really Want to End up a Mule?

Our first seven posts of 2013 are about Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People .  Look folks, I’m working these habits myself- so I’m no expert. I just want to improve and take you along with me. Hop off the bus at any time- everyone isn’t ready!

Last week we covered the First Habit- Be Proactive- Ignorecotting Baby Kimye. Some of you were resistant to the idea of letting go of your Kim Kardashian obsession, but guess what- your obsession with all things Kimye is within the Circle of Concern- so not my problem. I have come to convey and NOT convince. My final word on Kimikins is that she is neither the knife nor the wound--- she is merely the salt. Moving along...

Finally! The Second Habit: Begin With the End in the Mind! Woot! Woot! Woot!

Stephen Covey places a great deal of emphasis on  idea that in life there are always two creations: the mental and the physical. You are either living a life of design or a life of default. Where people screw up is in the first creation. They walk through life like zombies- subject to the whims and plans of others or slaves to their own temporary emotions. If your life doesn't look the way you want it to look, it's probably because you haven't spent time thinking about it. To help clarify the "design" of your life and your values, Habit 2 encourages you to write a personal mission statement. - And this is where the challenge for Black women looms. 


Far too many Black women live a life of chattel. We belong to the “community”. The mere thought of imagining what you want your life to look like at it’s end is foreign, confusing, SCARY! But that’s what we’re gonna do! Oh yes we are!

We start the chapter by imagining that we are at our own funeral. YAY! I look fabulous in that urn! 

We’re asked to imagine remarks from members of our family, friends, professional associates and someone from church or a community organization.  Then we’re supposed to ponder what we would like each of these speakers to say. Well an easy way around this exercise would be to prepare remarks for each of these people in advance- but I digress.

What would you like them to say about you?

What Kind of spouse, child, sibling or parent would you like them to remember?

What kind of friend?

What kind of working associate?

What was your character? 

What were your memorable achievements?

What difference did you make in their lives?

The answers to these questions are to help you identify the fundamental values that help you define the boundaries of your Circle of Influence.   By knowing what you want the end of your life to look like, you have a reference point to examine every aspect of your life.

I think the reason it took me so long to write about the Second Habit: Begin With the End in Mind is two fold A) it’s 50 pages long and B) the opening exercise reminds me that my life is not in perfect harmony with my principles and values. That sux!

Once you know that your life is not in harmony with your values, you kinda sorta have an obligation to make changes because otherwise you’re a lazy coward and who wants to be a lazy coward? Oh but my comfort zone is so nice and warm and cuddly- i just want to lay in my comfort zone--- it’s so comfortable. But no dice! Doing what I’m currently doing will not get me to the eulogy of my dreams. 

Create the life you want in your head- write it down and it serves as a blue print. This tangible manifestation of what you want your life to look like makes it easier to weed out the nonsense. 


As it relates to blogging- I don’t want to be remembered for the following:


  • The Blogmother- She really knew how to go awf!
  • The Blogmother - She told it like it was! *please don’t ever say this to me in person- it annoys me greatly*
  • The Blogmother- She successfully predicted the apocalypse! She said it’d be bad-she was right!
  • The Blogmother - She really knew how to call someone Da’ Debil
  • The Blogmother - Her favorite sayings were Chile’ BYE! Gurl STOP! Have 5 Seats! You Need more People. Regime of Bullets Booty and Bling, Civil Rights Industrial Complex, Black Elite Establishment. Obfuscation and Redirection!



I want to be remembered for this *cue gospel music*:



  • The Blogmother - She left an enduring legacy that served as a beacon of light to little Black girls everywhere. Not only was she a cybercrusading warrior princess, but a creative genius!  Walt Disney himself, were he still alive, would weep at the marvelous works she would unleash upon the souls of Black womanity. Activist,  author, film director, multi-media  mogul, marathon runner- she was a woman born for the digital age and she moulded  every dream which tap danced around her imagination into tangible form which now live in the hearts of little Black girls around the world FOREVER!  and EVER and EVER Amen!AmenAmenAmeeeeeeen! Yeah yeah yeah yeah! mmm hmmmm! FROM THE MOUNTAIN TOPS! 


See what I mean about this exercise sucking? That’s a lot of work! I’m tired just reading it and I wrote it. The part about tangible form is really important to me- so I’m working on it. Though not as much as I should. Hence why this exercise works- every time you spend your time talent and tools on something that is inconsistent with your imaginary eulogy, it mocks you! 

Anywhoo- after going through the macabre funeral exercise, you’re supposed to write a personal mission statement. You really should sit down and do it because it really does highlight the hypocritical mess your life may have become. Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean that’s what your soul longs to do. Just because it’s easy or comfortable doesn’t mean you’re supposed to be doing it.  And the only way to figure that out is to pause and listen to yourself. 

Many of us were raised to believe that our lives are not our own. We were born with a purpose, mainly to be the footstools and backbones of a community where our needs- heck our humanity were marginalized. We’re here to be a stepping stone for everybody else. 

Let the musicians call us b*%&(% and #$*U%# because these “young men” need to feed their families. Let the preachers ignore our GAPING wounds, both physical and spiritual,  from the pulpit- just keep on tithing to a church that isn’t ministering to you because that’s what your mother and grand mother and great grandmother did. Become the family ATM or hotel/motel, crisis manager because if you didn’t do it, the whole family would collapse into pieces- that’s a lie by the way, they’ll be just fine. Be the support system for some no-count manCHILD because life’s been hard on HIM.


Quite frankly the idea of not being a community mule is terrifying for many Black women because who would you be if you weren’t being used by a bunch of ungrateful, obtuse, predatory people?

So when you do the exercise, don’t imagine what other people would want you to imagine. Don’t limit yourself to the role that was foisted upon you at birth. Don’t be shackled by the anti-Black woman propaganda that tells you that to the extent that you have value, it is solely for the use and utility of others. 


And if your current decisions don’t line up with where you want to be at the end of your life----- be proactive- make. different. decisions. Because life is a choice. And you always have a choice. 

Here's Stephen Covey talking about the Second Habit:Begin With the End in Mind

Reader Comments (10)

This post has resonated with me; particularly the last 5 paragraphs. Think I'll be downloading a copy of the book.

January 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDara

yeah, this one will be difficult

January 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVinindy

Powerful. I've always heard of setting goals of where you want to be in 5 years. Never heard of imagining your funeral and what will be said about you there. Great advice as usual.

January 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLorna Jerome

I did something to this similar years ago.It was about changing your life from the end and work backwards. It ask you to write your own obituary. I did it and it changed my life.

January 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commentershell

My daughter brought home a bookmark with the 7 Habits on them, we are reading this series together. Good points.

January 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMonique G

This book is a staple of my library, and I have perused it many times over the years. Yet, I still get something new from it each time. Now, reading another perspective from a black woman that I have come to highly respect, in a short period of time, has shed a completely different light. Thank you for your powerful words.

January 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiana

It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart. Ecclesiastes 7:2

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaryn

This post put a huge smile on my face, and I am, as always, grateful for it.

January 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCamille

Okay, writing the end of my life story IS scary but this will be a big challenge for me that I intend to complete.

Miss Daja

February 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Daja

All I can say is wow. You hit a lot of points with me and in reading this I realize how wrapped up I am in the beleif that if I'm not giving service to others (to my own detriment) that I have no value. Lots to chew on. Thank you!

February 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFX

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