Begin With the End In Mind

Peter Cook and Becky Northey, the founders of Pooktre, are responsible for the renowned Living Chair, a tree that was formed over its lifetime into a functional seat.

Peter and Becky mastered the art of tree shaping. Pooktre uses a gradual shaping method, which guides trees as they grow along predetermined designs. The process takes time, but is gentle and harmonious, and has produced unprecedented results. For their efforts (the internet-famous chair alone took ten years to grow), Pooktre has won international, historical, and popular acclaim.

In growing these rarities, Peter and Becky start with what they have. They envision a result, then make a plan to achieve it. And the process is gradual. The Living Chair didn’t grow overnight.

Their living sculptures have:

  • A goal
  • Structure designed to produce the desired result
  • Growth within the structure that brings the goal to life

Think of your life as your living sculpture. Give yourself a goal. Break down its achievement into stages. Develop your plan until your vision becomes reality.

That is, set a goal you can grow into.

There is a business term for an organization’s future ability to ramp up production and generate larger profit: Growth potential.

There is also the Human Potential Movement, which consists of work and theories on tapping into a person’s extraordinary latent capabilities. The main idea here is that humans can experience an exceptional quality of life filled with happiness, creativity and fulfillment when they strive to reach their potential.

Abraham Maslow called it Self-Actualization. The fulfillment of self through reaching one’s potential sits at the top of his hierarchy of human needs. Maslow considered it the greatest factor in motivating humans.

Taking Maslow’s theory into account, you can say that seeing what can become is our greatest calling. We are drawn to achieve personal greatness. Self-actualized people are fulfilled and doing all they are capable of.

So, find out how great you can be.

Set goals that tell yourself how much you think you’re truly worth.

Don’t bind yourself with what you’ve done or what you are right now. What’s done is done. It’s gotten you to now, and what you do with this moment is up to you.

What you do in this moment will set you up for the future. This moment leads you to the next. And this moment will lead to the next. And, after awhile, you’ve built up a bunch of moments, and you’re in the future. Maslow was quoted as saying that it’s the process of “becoming.”

All you can do is take care of this moment.

By setting a goal or envisioning a future, you give yourself something to grow into.

You decide what you become.