Begin with the End in Mind

“Begin with the End in Mind” is a habit popularized in Stephen Covey’s famous book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This is a fairly self-explanatory concept – everything we do should have an end goal which we are working towards. Having a goal for where we want to end up will help us develop habits and practices now that will get us to where we want to go.

My favorite representation of this concept is from Lewis Carroll’s book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in which Alice comes to a fork in the road and asks the Cheshire Cat for help:

Alice: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

The Cheshire Cat: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”

Alice: “I don’t much care where.”

The Cheshire Cat: “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

Alice: “…So long as I get somewhere.”

The Cheshire Cat: “Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”

While “Begin with the End in Mind” can certainly apply to just about every aspect of life, I think it is especially pertinent in our financial lives. Money is a means to an end not the end itself. And that end is different for every single person. That is why it is critical to give serious thought to what is important to you. Where do you want to go? The end you have in mind should directly influence how your money is managed.

Our team is always ready and available to help you work through these questions. Let us help you develop a plan that is going to help you get to where you wish to go. Remember, this is about more than just money. It’s about a life well planned!

Eric Fitzgerald is an investment advisor in the Shenandoah office. Eric is a CFP® and has 8 years of experience in the financial services industry. For feedback or questions regarding this blog post, please contact Eric at


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