One of the books I read and which has been of great help in my life is « The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People » by Stephen R. Covey. I want to share those habits with you. I’ll be posting one habit each Week so that we can ponder on it and really see how it can be applied in our daily life.
As an introduction, Stephen Covey invites us to operate a paradigm shift. Wich means that we need to change how we see things in life. We are conditionned to see the world a certain way and we act and think according to that vision. In order to become aware of our paradigms, we need to confront our visions with other points of view, to talk with the others. Everybody sees the world through their own glasses. As Einstein said « the way we see the problem is the problem. »
This week’s special is habit number 1 : Being Pro-active.
We are emotional beings, the first thing to know is that we are not our feelings, thoughts, emotions and they are neither good or bad. Those things are what we make them, how we relate to them is what makes them harmful or harmless. Being pro-active has to do with how we see ourselves, and that depends on many factors which can seem determining, such as genetics, bringing-up, environment. Despite all of these determinisms, we are still free to choose, but we need to be aware of it. We should ask ourselves « how do I see myself ?«
Another aspect of being pro-active is not waiting for others to make things happen for you, take responsibility. In order to take responsibility, we need to know what we can act upon and what we can’t. The author talks about the circle of influence which covers the things we can do Something about, and the circle of concerns which covers the things on which there’s Nothing we can do. To be effective, we should concentrate our efforts on our circle of influence (the Bes) and adapt our circle of concerns (the Haves) to it.
The way we talk about things can prevent us from being pro-active. If we use reactive sentences, we put ourselves in the victim position, and blame everything outside of ourselves. A few questions can guide us through our process to beconming more pro-active.
- What is my main concern ?
- What language do I use when talking about it ?
- What steps within my circle of influence can I take ?
- What commitments am I willing to take ?
- What are my paradigms regarding that problem ?
- What shift do I need to operate ?
- Where can I start ?
I hope you found this helpful, and I would love to hear your thoughts on how you impliment pro-activity in your life and / or at work.
Let’s take care of ourselves.
See you around !