It was 1 am in the morning and the TV in my room was on, I had seen the advert for the movie and had been a little curious. I had a flight for 9am the next morning, and staying awake to watch the film meant that I might not sleep until 3am, would wake up by 5-6am and pack my bags to get to the airport for 8am so I can catch the flight to Warri. It’s going to be working a tight rope, but I gave in to the temptation to watch, and guess what, it was worth it.
The key story in the movie was of a guy – a player, who did not believe in love or the institution of marriage, and had become a serial boyfriend… getting into relationships strictly for the short term value. He always ensured he didn’t get his heart or feelings involved, he had learnt from his uncle the master player, to be exceptional in the art of seduction. He had become lethal, he was great in his game, and he didn’t care much for settling down. His life seemed to go well, until one critical night. That night he was in town to attend the wedding ceremony of his only brother, there were lots of bride maids to kill time with, the wedding planner was an ex-almost-girl friend. The stage was set for one of his normal nights, but not this night. He goes into the gent, and there meets a ghost, the ghost of his player uncle, who came to show him, that this type of life he’s living does not have a good end.
The uncle promises him, that that night he’ll be introduced to some of the ghosts of his girlfriends past. He’ll see 3 major ghosts, and the moral of the entire night would be to show him how worthless the kind of life he was living is. From that point on, it gets really amusing, exciting and sometimes hilarious. Underneath all the acting and scripts however is a very carefully packaged message. A message so strong, Stephen Covey captured it as the 2nd habit of highly effective people – Begin with the End in Mind.
I would really love to give you the gist of the movie, but then I wouldn’t be doing the producers a great service ;). I would love to really gist you, but then again, this attempt of mine to write a short article will again have failed. Let me try however to give you the essence of the movie, the hidden message that makes it score so highly with me.
In that night, he had an opportunity to go to the past, cruise through the present and take a peep into his future. He saw the past – the lives he had wrecked, the pain he has caused, and the transient nature of other people’s experience with him. He saw the present, how he with his nasty attitude created a quarrel between brother and wife to be… by carelessly asking of of the bride maids his brother had an affair with. The view of his future took him through breaking his brothers marriage before it happened and leading him into a miserable life, the picture of his future progressed to his own grave side, where none showed up except the priest and his only brother. He saw for real how miserable an end his life was heading towards. He saw clearly that his end was not one he had given much thought to. True to what the ghost of his player uncle had said – “guys like us don’t end well”.
When he did wake up in the morning from this show or trance, he was relieved first that he was alive, he asked loudly for the date, and woke up to make amends. If his current life was going to end lonely and miserable, he’ll need to change a lot of things to change that future. All of a sudden, he decided to re-arrange his philosophies and beliefs and started living with the end in mind. All of a sudden the things that mattered not, now mattered much. It struck me in an exciting way, the power of starting with the end in mind. It’s truly a habit that brings effectiveness.
If you get to watch the movie watch out for the contrast in lifestyle that thinking with the end brings. Now let’s bring it back home to you. How are you living your life? Will the things important to you today be important to you if you had your end in mind? How do you want your life to be at the end? Will your burial have many people attending? Will they share the way the met you, the value you added? Will there be tears from those whose lives had partly depended on yours? Will there be celebration from those who know that you did live a great life and have gone home to rest? Or will life simply continue like no one of any value had walked through? Are you living life like a major actor, or like a “waka pass”? What is your role, what influence have you had on others, what is the measure of your impact? Have you lived for others or selfishly?
Death reveals all secrets. Nothing is concealable by one who can no longer draw clothes over his/her naked body. Once the breath ceases, the body becomes mere mass. What script is your life writing today.
Dare to begin with the end in mind!