I once read about someone who repeatedly wrote their CV 10 years in advance, filling it up with the experience and achievements they hoped to attain in the future. I was immediately dismissive, put off perhaps by the self indulgence. Surely it was the behaviour of a fantasist, a dreamer. Life just happens right? The future will deliver far more than we could (or should?) seek to control. Why waste time on these kind of narcissistic indulgences?

But, how much advantage would we have if we knew the endgame? If we had figured out what we want to achieve and had created a strategic map to get there, just imagine what we could do if the path opened up clear in front of us. Imagine if we could put ourselves at the end of that path and see all the way back to where we stand today?

But this is just what every great strategist does. It's par for the course. You don't reach where you need to be without fathoming out the moves, without making the right choices, without questioning whether or not you are making the smart decisions. After all, there are always more snakes than there are ladders.

Whatever your ambition, whether you want the top job in your company, to run for political office, to build a business empire, to simply provide a good life for your family, tracing back the steps is a fundamental ingredient to success. All of this takes a great deal of reflection. It takes building a sensible, healthy routine to set you up for that reflection. Knowing how important it is to know the endgame though is half the battle.