Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Very Good Place to Start is at the Very Beginning—or is it?

A very good place to start is at the very beginning—or is it? Seems like common sense. Thinking about beginnings leads to thinking about endings. Thinking about the ending leads to thinking about the process. Thinking about the process leads to thinking about what we’re after in the first place, and that takes us, in a round-about way, back to the beginning. Back to the top. (Now, as a distraction, look up the word opportunity.  It’s defined as “a chance for progress or advancement.” Keep that in mind.)

But, as for starting at the very beginning, what if for fun, we turn it around and think about the ending? If you cheat when reading a book and read the ending first, you know how it ends, but the case can be made that you don’t have the knowledge to know how or why it ends that way. You won’t know the how of how you got from the beginning to the end. Yet, when faced with making choices that affect lifestyle, wellness behaviors and well-being, knowing the how is even more important than knowing the beginning or the end result. It’s the how that becomes the process, and it’s the process that will reward your efforts. In essence, we’re looking at processes, not outcomes.

By starting at the ending, such as a goal you want to achieve, and working your way back to the beginning, you already have a competitive edge. You know where you plan to “end up.” And this in itself becomes a beginning—and a powerful motivator. As you work your way back to the beginning, you’re taking what you hope to achieve and creating a plan to do just that. That plan should take you to the place where it started, where you took that first step in the wrong direction. And, it should take you to a place where you make that mid-step adjustment and take advantage of the opportunity to learn from the ending—and the beginning, and decide what you are going to do in the middle of the journey.

That’s where opportunity comes in—the chance for progress and advancement no matter where you are on the scale from beginning to end (or end to beginning). It’s really about reaching your wellness goals by moving on, in a positive direction, making positive choices along the way. So, shake it up a little, and think about what happens if you start at the ending. It might actually be a very good place to start.

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