Highlight of this chapter: “They cannot take away our self respect if we do not give it to them.” -Ghandi
In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey offers this Ghandi quotation to emphasize our control. Nothing can hurt you, your chances of getting into a program, your ability to perform well at work or the effectiveness of your voice without your consent. Sounds whimsical and idealistic, right? Well, that’s what I thought at first. However, when I think back to all the times that I felt vulnerable and powerless, more than half of those moments presented an opportunity for me to develop my voice. That’s where even the most challenging moments sow seeds of power within us. Although situations can hurt my bank account, GPA, or ego…nothing can hurt my character, principles, and who I am. This is the mentality Covey suggests we adopt before being proactive.
Chapter 1 of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People asserts that “Taking initiative does not mean being pushy, obnoxious, or aggressive. It does mean recognizing our responsibility to make things happen.” So, proactive thinking is not the same as positive thinking. We’re not just doing some free willy nilly hoping for things to happen. We must do those things. We must accept the reality of our challenges and capacity, then act! Peep the difference between these statements:
1) He makes me so mad.
2) I control my own feelings.
In statement 2), one can place more agency on herself; therefore, may be less likely to internalize negative energy that people try to project onto her. Again, this power to face adversity in real terms invites us to change things in our favor. Try to think about this when you make and keep commitments. Sometimes, among my friends we call this “being real with yourself.” That is to say, focus on real circumstances that can shape your present state of being and capacity. Then, using control and your own preexisting power within you, evaluate the commitment.
Posted by: Tiffany