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Taking the InitiativeOur basic nature is to act, and not be acted upon. As well as enabling us to choose our response to particularcircumstances, this empowers us to create circumstances.Taking initiative does not mean being pushy, obnoxious, or aggressive. It does mean recognizing our responsibility tomake things happen. Listening to our Language Reactive Language Proactive Language There’s nothing I can do. Let’s look at our alternatives. That’s just the way I am. I can choose a different approach. He makes me so mad. I control my own feelings. They won’t allow that. I can create an effective presentation. I have to do that. I will choose an appropriate response. I can’t. I choose. I must. I prefer. If only. I will.As shared by Stephen Covey:One time a student asked me, "Will you excuse me from class? I have to go on a tennis trip.‖―You have to go, or you choose to?‖ I asked.―I really have to,‖ he exclaimed.―What will happen if you don’t?‖―They will kick me off the team.‖―How would you like that consequence?‖―I wouldn’t.‖―In other words, you choose to go because you want the consequence of staying on the team. What will happen if youmiss my class?‖―I don’t know.‖―Think hard. What do you think would be the natural consequence of not coming to class?‖ Cont.―You wouldn’t kick me out, would you?‖
―That would be a social consequence. That would be artificial. If you don’t participate on the tennis team, youdon’t play. That’s natural. But if you don’t come to class, what would be the natural consequence?‖―I guess I will miss the learning.‖―That’s right. So you have to weigh that consequence against the other consequence and make a choice. I know ifit were me, I’d choose to go on the tennis trip. But never say you have to do anything.‖―I choose to go on the tennis trip,‖ he meekly replied.―And miss my class?‖ I replied in mock disbelief.As shared by Stephen Covey:At one seminar where I was speaking on the concept of being proactive, a man came up and said, ―Stephen, I likewhat you’re saying. But every situation is so different. Look at my marriage. I am really worried. My wife and Ijust don’t have the same feelings for each other we used to have. I guess I just don’t love her anymore and shedoesn’t love me. What can I do?‖―The feeling isn’t there anymore?‖ I asked.―That’s right,‖ he affirmed. ―And we have three children we’re really concerned about. What do you suggest?‖―Love her, "I replied.―I told you, the feeling just isn’t there anymore.‖―Love her‖―You don’t understand. The feeling of love just isn’t there.‖―Then love her. If the feeling isn’t there, that’s good reason to love her.‖―But how do you love when you don’t love?‖―My friend, love is a verb. Love – the feeling – is a fruit of love, the verb. So love her. Listen. Empathize.Sacrifice. Appreciate. Affirm. Are you willing to do that?‖In the great literature of all progressive societies, love is a verb. Reactive people make it a feeling. They aredriven by feelings. If our feelings control our actions, it is because we have abdicated our responsibility andempowered them to do so.Proactive people make love verb. Love is something you do: the giving of self, like a mother bringing a newborn intothe world. Love is a value that is actualized through loving actions. Proactive people subordinate feelings to values.Love, the feeling, can be recaptured.
Circle of Concern Circle of InfluenceProactive people focus their efforts in the Circle of Influence. They work on the things they can do somethingabout. The nature of their energy is positive, enlarging and magnifying, causing their Circle of Influence toincrease.Reactive people, on the other hand, focus their efforts in the Circle of Concern. They focus on the weakness ofother people, the problems in the environment, and circumstances over which they have no control. Their focusresults in blaming and accusing attitudes, reactive language, and increased feelings of victimization. The negativeenergy generated by that focus, combined with neglect in areas they could do something about, causes their Circleof Influence to shrink. The Other End of the Stick: While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of those actions. When we pick up one end of the stick, we pick up the other.
Becoming a Transition Person: empowering people with the freedom to rise above negative scripting that hadbeen passed down to us. Instead of transferring those scripts to the next generation, we can change them. Andwe can do it in a way that will build relationships in the process. A tendency that runs through your family forgenerations can stop with you. You are a transition person – a link between the past and the future. And your ownchange can affect many, many lives downstream. Sharpen the Saw: Suppose you were to come upon someone in the woods working feverishly to saw down a tree. “What are you doing?” you ask. “Can’t you see?” comes the impatient reply. “I am sawing down this tree.” “You look exhausted!” you exclaim. “How long have you been at it.” “Over five hours,” he returns, “and I am beat! This is hard work.” “Well, why don’t you take a break for a few minutes and sharpen the saw?” you inquire. “I am sure it would go a lot faster.” “I don’t have time to sharpen the saw,” the man says emphatically. “I am too busy sawing!”Renewing the Four Dimensions of your Nature Physical Exercise, Nutrition, Stress Management Mental Social/Emotional Reading, Visualizing, Service, Empathy, Synergy, Planning, Writing Intrinsic Security Spiritual Value Clarification & Commitment, Study & Meditation
How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and keeping thatpicture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most. When I look upon the tombs of the great, every emotion of envy dies in me; when I read the epitaphs of the beautiful, every inordinate desire goes out; when I meet with the grief of parents upon a tombstone, my heart melts with compassion; when I see the tomb of the parents themselves, I consider the vanity of grieving for those whom we must quickly follow; when I see kings lying by those who deposed them, when I consider rival wits placed side by side, or the holy men that divided the world with their contests and disputes, I reflect with sorrow and astonishment on the little competitions, factions, and debates of mankind. When I read the several dates of the tombs, of some that died yesterday, an some six hundred years ago, I consider that great day when we shall all of us be contemporaries, and make our appearance together.Peter Drucker: Effective people are not problem minded; they are opportunityminded. They feed opportunities and starve problems. They think preventively.
Character Character is the foundation of Win/Win and everything else builds on that foundation. There are three character traits essential to the Win/Win paradigm: Integrity: is the value we place on ourselves. As we clearly identify our values and proactively organize and execute around those values on a daily basis, we develop self awareness and independent will by making and keeping meaningful promises and commitment. There’s no way to go for a win in our own lives if we don’t even know, in a deep sense, what constitutes a Win – what is, in fact, harmonious with our innermost values. And if we can’t make and keep commitments to ourselves as well as to others, our commitments become meaningless. We know it; others know it. They sense duplicity and become guarded. Theres no foundation of trust and Win/win becomes an ineffective superficial technique. Integrity is the cornerstone in the foundation.Maturity: is the balance between courage and consideration. Emotional maturity is the ability to expressone’s own feelings an =d convictions balanced with consideration for the thoughts and feelings of others.Abundance Mentality: the paradigm that there is plenty out there for everybody. Abundance mentalityflows out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security. It results in sharing of prestige, ofrecognition, of profits, of decision making. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives and creativity.Public VictoryIt does not mean victory over people. It means success is effective interaction that brings mutuallybeneficial results to everyone involved. Public victory means working together, communicating together,making things happen together that even the same people couldn’t make happen by working independently.
Quotes ―You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically, to say ―no‖ to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger ―yes‖ burning inside. The enemy of the ―best‖ is often the ―good.‖If you were to fault yourself in one of three areas, which would it be: (1) theinability to prioritize; (2) the inability or desire to organize around those priorities;or (3) the lack of discipline to execute around them? … Most people say their mainfault is a lack of discipline. On deeper thought, I believe that is not the case. Thebasic problem is that their priorities have not become deeply planted in their heartsand minds. They haven’t really internalized Habit 2 [Begin with the end inmind]..what is most important to them. Trust is the highest form of human motivation.―You cant talk yourself out of problems you behave yourself into.‖ ―Your life is a result of your own decisions – not your conditions.‖"Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time onwhat is important.""The way we see the problem is the problem." "Strength lies in differences, not in similarities"
"Two people can see the same thing, disagree, and yet bothbe right. Its not logical; its psychological." "If I really want to improve my situation, I can work on the one thing over which I have control - myself.""Live out of your imagination, not your history." "Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out""Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with theintent to reply." While you can think in terms of efficiency in dealing with time, a principle-centered person thinks in terms of effectiveness in dealing with people.
The 7 HabitsHabit 1:Be ProactiveHabit 2:Begin with the End in MindHabit3:Put First Things FirstHabit 4:Think Win WinHabit 5:Seek First to Understand, Then to be UnderstoodHabit 6:SynergizeHabit 7:Sharpen the Saw