In 1989 Steven Covey wrote his famous book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” It’s still a bestseller.
My copy is 20 years old. It has a prize place in my bookcase next to my living room window where the sun has bleached the book cover.
Fortunately, the content is still as fresh and relevant.
As you’ve no doubt guessed, I love this book and its strong central message:
Anytime we think the problem is “out there”, that thought is the problem.
In other words, if I want to improve my situation, I can work on the one thing I have control over – myself.
Covey explains, we need to shift our focus away from the have’s: ‘if only I had this’ or ‘if only I could do that.’ This focus is on the weakness of other people, the problems in the environment, and circumstances over which they have no control. He calls this the Circle of Concern.
Instead, he says we should focus on the be’s: ‘I can be more of this or that’. This focus is on improving things with a positive attitude and constructive result for all. He calls this the Circle of Influence.
As we work from our center of influence we expand four life factors:
Security: your sense of worth, self-esteem, identity.
Guidance: direction in life that governs decision-making.
Wisdom: your understanding, balance, perspective on life.
Power: your capacity to act, overcome bad habits & create good ones.
When these four life factors are present and harmonized, they create the great force of a noble personality, a balanced character and beautifully integrated individual.
Each of us has a different center in the circle of influence, which determines our outlook and behavior. We can be family centered, work centered, money centered, self-centered, friend/enemy centered, religion centered etc.
By centering our lives on correct principles that do not change with people or circumstances, we create a solid foundation for the four life factors.
As a principle-centered person you try to stand apart from the emotion of the situation and evaluate your options.
Important differences of a principle-centered person:
- You are not acted upon by other people or circumstances. You choose proactively.
- You make your decision consciously and knowledgeably. You know your decision is most effective because it is based on long-term results.
- You feel comfortable about your decision. Whatever you choose to do, you can focus on it and enjoy it.
- What you choose to do contributes to your ultimate values in life.
- You genuinely want to contribute to the welfare of people or a company.
- You can communicate effectively to the strong networks you have created at home and at work.
Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. – Victor Frankl
Like this? Please share with your friends so that your loved ones can live a little more effectively in their lives starting today!
Want to share your own effective habits? Come on over to carlbrooks.com and leave a reply. I’d love to hear from you.
Business Growth Coach
Cover image: Tom