The late Dr. Stephen Covey synthesized the common patterns in the leaders he studied and worked with in his 1989 best-seller, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
At the core of his message is the belief that the way we see the world is entirely based on our own perceptions. In order to change any given situation, we must change ourselves. And, in order to change ourselves, we must be able to change our perceptions.
Put simply, in the context of this crisis:
In order to change/improve the state of things during this crisis, we must change/improve ourselves first.
In order to change/improve ourselves, we must change/improve our perceptions.
“The way we see the problem is the problem.”
To undergo a paradigm shift and upgrade ourselves fundamentally, we must go beyond the surface level and alter our behavior for the long-term.
This is where the habits (7) come in:
- Be Proactive
- Begin with the End in Mind
- Put First Things First
- Think Win-Win
- Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
- Sharpen the Saw
- Be Proactive
We are in charge.
We choose the scripts by which we live our lives.
Being Proactive is the opposite of being reactive.
To be reactive is to take a passive stance, believing the world is happening to you (most people’s stance):
“There’s nothing I can do.”
“That’s just the way I am.”
“Well, what ya gonna do?”
From this stance, the problem is “out there,” which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of increasingly feeling victimized and out of control.
To be Proactive is to not react but to Respond to any given stimulus or situation.
To respond effectively is to focus more on our Circle of Influence (what we can control and influence) than our Circle of Concern (what we are concerned about but often cannot directly control or influence).
As we diligently focus our action into the Circle of Influence, it expands –> causing our Circle of Concern to shrink. The opposite is also true.
In other words, the more we concentrate our focus and action on what we can control and influence, the smaller the list of concerns and risks this crisis has brought gets.
Replace reactive language with proactive language:
Reactive = “This crisis is crushing me.”
Proactive = “This crisis has been challenging, but I am determined to overcome it.”
(Our language/self-talk influences our perceptions and how we feel on a second-to-second basis – how we feel will determine how effective we truly are.)
List out the items/resources in your Circle of Influence, list out the concerns/fears/risks in your Circle of Concerns, then proactively start taking massive action on your first list.
Stay safe and Lead On!