Yesterday the group started out on the second of Covey’s habits – begin with the end in mind.
The walk of discovery
The group began with a short walk around Orvelte village in order to discover things about themselves and other members of their reflection groups. At each question along the trail the participants were asked to think individually and then share with the rest of their group and have a discussion about the question, recording some of their thoughts in their learning books.
The questions were…
- Think of a person who had a positive influence in your life. What qualities does that person have that you would like to develop?
- Imagine yourself in twenty years. You are surrounded by the most important people in your life. Who are they and what are you doing?
- If a steel beam (six inches wide) were placed across two skyscrapers, for what would you be willing to cross? A thousand Euros? A million Euros? Your pet? A family member? Fame?
- If you could spend one day in a great library studying anything you wanted, what would you study and why?
- List ten things you love to do. It could be singing, dancing, looking at magazines, reading, walking, cycling, daydreaming – anything you absolutely love to do.
- Describe a time when you were deeply inspired.
- If you could spend an hour with any person who ever lived, who would it be? Why that person? What would you ask?
- Five years from now, your local paper does a story about you and your youth work. They interview three people – a colleague, a family member, and a young person you have worked with. What would you want them to say about you?
- Think of something that represents you – a flower, a song, an animal. How and why does it represent you?
- Everyone has one or more talents. What are your talents? Which ones are essential to work with young people?
Creating a vision for the future
After the break Buzz asked the group to consider where they wanted to be in one years time in relation to six/eight areas of their life. These could be friends, family, spiritual wellbeing, work, health, financial wealth or working with young people. He explained that it is important to set realistic goals when thinking about this and that some things that you want to achieve cross over between different areas of your life.
Buzz explained that creating a vision board can be a good way to give yourself a visual reminder of what you should be aiming for and should be filled with emotion and meaning. He asked the participants to use old magazines to create their vision boards and, once completed, to put them next to their beds so that the board is the last thing you see before falling asleep and the first thing you see when they wake up.
What is the mission?
Following the creation of the vision boards the participants were asked to create a mission statement. This would be a statement of intent, allowing you to be clear on where you want to get to and the steps you need to take to get there.
The mission statement builds on WHERE you want to be as shown in the vision board and explains WHY you want to be there, the values and ethics, plus the steps you need to take to get there. The statement should also be relevant to the six/eight sections that were included in the vision board as well so that the two link together.
Covey behind bars
During the afternoon some members of the group headed to Veenhuizen prison for an afternoon of cultural learning. The prison was established in the 1600s as a place to move poorer members of society from the west of the Netherlands to and put them to work for three years to reintegrate them into society. The group took part in a tour of the prison to learn about the history of the place from when it was established until the present day.
Following the tour the group had a short input from former prisoner Jurgen who spoke about his experiences. Jurgen lived originally in the Hague and fell into gang culture. Over a number of years he became more involved in criminal activities, although at stages realising that he wanted to make a change. This culminated in being so desperate that he robbed a jewellery store, shot a man and subsequently served four years in prison.
Since leaving prison Jurgen has written a book and gives talks about his experience. He also runs a foundation dedicated to preventing young people from taking the path he did. During the group identified many times where Covey could be applied including the target of influence.