The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People

2551 words - 10 pages

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Covey, 2004) has become the cornerstone of leadership and management wisdom. The habits emphasize personal responsibility and personal leadership. There is challenge in living everyday under the guidance of the habits but there is also great benefit as living the habits can influence everything we do in life. I was introduced to Covey’s seven habits through a one day seminar at my workplace several years ago. I learned some of the terminology and a few of the concepts but never really understood the power of the practical application of the habits. Reading the Covey materials has taught me that life is not about all the tasks that I accomplish but instead about accomplishing the tasks that support what is important to me. Covey has taught me that there are elemental components that are applicable across the many roles that I have in my life. Those universal elements are integrity, vision, discipline, and passion. Embracing these ideas has opened my eyes to the endless applications and benefits of living the seven habits.
Being proactive is the first step in the seven habit journey. I thought I was proactive because I always had to plan everything in my life. Family vacations, work schedules, continuing education all were events that I was proud to say I planned right down to the last detail. Reading the Covey material I realized that being proactive went much deeper than just planning life events. Being proactive involves choosing my attitude, focusing on my circle of influence and not my circle of concern, and turning setbacks into triumphs. Being proactive means to act based on principles not emotions. We all need a pause button that would allow us to stop during that time between what happens to us and our reaction to it. I know I have approached many circumstances as a victim instead of a survivor. The circumstance may not be within my circle of influence but my response is. As I am writing this I think back to the times when my son felt disappointment while growing up. He would come to me and say, “Mom that is just not fair.” I would always respond with the words “son, fare is something you pay a taxi cab, not something you should expect to be given in life.” Those words sure do set the stage for becoming a victim all through life. I know now that it is possible to develop a habit of learning how to pause and give wiser responses when we are disappointed in life. God gave us the gift of free will, we have the right to choose. I can choose to take responsibility for my life and my actions because I am in the driver’s seat. I have learned that the word responsibility can be broken into two separate words; response + ability. We cannot control those things in life that disappoint us but we can control our reaction and this is the advice I will now share with my son.
Habit two states that we must begin with the end in mind. I have learned that it is very difficult to get somewhere...

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