For this weeks post I want to talk about how changing a habit relates to the first habit in the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.
The first habit is Principles of Personal Vision. What this habit boils down to is “Proactivity”, as the book calls it. They define this as more than just taking initiative. It’s actually taking responsibility for our own lives. There is no blaming circumstances, conditions or conditioning for behavior, but instead being self-aware and conscious of our decisions and choices.
One of my favorite parts in the discussion of being proactive is the difference in language of someone who is reactive versus someone who is proactive. Some great examples are:
There’s nothing I can do. VS Let’s look at our alternatives.
I can’t. VS I choose.
That’s just the way I am. VS I can choose a different approach.
It’s all a matter of changing your mindset everyday from negative to positive. From “I can’t” to “I will”. It’s a daily task and exercise and something that I feel is very important to spend a lifetime perfecting. At the end of the chapter there are suggestions for application of Proactivity. Here’s a couple to help you develop your Proactivity:
1. For a full day, listen to your language and to the language of people around you. How often do you use and hear reactive phrases such as “If only,” “I can’t,” or “I have to”?
2. Identify an experience you might encounter in the near future where, based on past experience, you would probably behave reactively. How could you respond proactively? Make a commitment to yourself to exercise your freedom to choose.
All content borrowed from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Antonio Paraiso does a great TED Talk about the Power of Proactivity. Enojy!