To Achieve Greatness, Start with the End

Shannel Wheeler
4 min readJan 6, 2020

The New Year is a time of revitalized thinking, new or continued goals and resolutions. Many of us are reenergized to achieve something great and to stay in it for the long haul this time. But something happens after a couple of days, a couple of weeks or maybe even a couple of months (for those who make it that long) that causes those “New Year, New Me” habits to taper off.

I’ve never been big on professing resolutions or making public statements about what I’m going to do, but like many others, I’m also energized by the start of a New Year. But it’s not just a new decade that fuels my ambition, it’s actually visualizing the end goal and then working toward making it happen.

It’s starting with the end.

What do I mean by that? I mean seeing yourself doing the thing you set out to do before you actually do it. It’s imagining, with vivid detail, what that day of achievement will look like, what you’ll say, what you’ll do, how others will react, how you’ll feel.

In Life Visioning by Michael Bernard Beckwith, he states,

“Visualization uses creative imagination to see with the mind’s eye the desired tangible or intangible object of desire.”

It’s like reverse engineering your goal by starting with how you want things to end and then working your way backward to figuring out what steps you need to take to get there.

As a creative person, it’s imperative for me to actualize an idea once it’s been planted in my mind. And I’m not just talking about any idea, but the purposed-filled, God-inspired ones that are etched concretely in mind, appear during dreams or consume my mind while driving, hiking or in the shower. Once I have been strongly convicted with an idea, I have to execute it. Even when I don’t know all the steps or resources needed to get it done, I can still visualize myself working on it, creating sketches, pounding on the computer, holding that “thing” in my hand. And the farther I get in actualizing those thoughts, the clearer I can visualize the remainder of the path.

A little over a year ago, I was inspired by the idea to create graphic design flashcards, and I was absolutely…

Shannel Wheeler

Creative professional, designer, author, instructor. Creating with purpose. Teaching and inspiring by design. Start learning design: