Hey All! This is a continuation of my quote of the week series. We will be continuing with Steven Covey's "7 Habits of Highly Effective People."
Habit 1: Be Proactive
Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Habit 4: Think Win/Win
Habit 5: Seek First to understand, Then to Be Understood
Habit 6: Synergize
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
Today we shall discuss the 2nd Habit.
Covey discusses the principle that all things are created twice. All physical manifestations of physical products are manufactured twice. The first is the "blueprint", the thoughts that run in your head. Just like how an architect will have sketches of what he wants to build, an effective person has ideas running through his head on what he wants to achieve. The architect always has his sketch handy while working in the field, just in case he needs to be pointed in the right direction.
Similarly, we must have that blueprint with us as well as we go about our daily business. The simplest and most effective way to do this is to have this:
It is simple in its complexity. While the blueprint of setting a goal is simple, actually acting upon it requires time, patience and personal reflection. What goal you set is entirely up to you. There are only a few basic guidelines:
- Focus on results
- One you set them, proactively act upon them
- Goals benefit you and those around you, keep those close to you in mind
During my college years, I saw many of my classmates wander around aimlessly as they sought to "find themselves" ("did they want to find themselves or did they wait to be found?" I thought to myself). That (among others) was their problem, they had life act upon them rather than act upon life. Here were some common symptoms:
- Takings 5+ years to graduate
- Multiple changes in majors
- Dropouts with no alternative plan
Many of my peers did not set goals, and the symptoms were merely the cause in the cause and effect paradigm. They did not invest the time truly dig deep within themselves to discover what they value. To discover that changeless core in which true, meaningful goals sprout. That seed must acquired, planted then nurtured. From that seed you can look into the future. How you want to live life. Then the challenge becomes how to bridge the gap of where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow.
That seed can be found by you and you alone, then it is your responsibility to nurture that seed until it becomes a tree provides shade for you and you're loved ones. That is the goal. The goal of what you want to achieve in life.
Once you have your blueprint, it becomes your compose, map and guide that leads you on the path that you and you alone want to travel. Your blueprint will be your light during life's darkest times, it will push you to do more than what the common man is willing to do because you do not just exist like they do, you have something worth living for.
What this translates to in day to day life is the intrinsic motivation to work while others play, seek to learn while others seek to be entertained and to pursue real, good, meaningful living rather than "weekend escapes." The results of this are:
- Early graduation
- Freedom from the 9-5
- Freedom to travel
- Freedom to live life on your terms
The Takeaway: Don't tune out of life, actively engage in it. You are in the driver's seat. Where you go, it is up to you...