One of the common problems many of us face is blaming others when life doesn't go the way we want it to. It is normal to want to blame others for not being where we want to be in our lives. It is easy to do and we can always find things that aren't perfectly lined up for us. No one gets to where they want to be without at least a few naysayers and obstacles along the way.
Even Bill Gates has been called no more than a "copycat king" along his way. I am not here to dispute or confirm such a label, but I can say that he is enjoying his success. So are we, along with many charities that his money goes to these days.
We all have obstacles in life and many of them are not fair, but we have to take charge and move on.
Such phrases as "the only common denominator in where you are today is you" and "the only thing between where we are today and where we want to be tomorrow is you" become important messages that must be taken seriously.
Taking personal responsibility is ultimately the only thing that will lead us to where we want to go.
Life is not fair and it never will be. The challenge is to learn how to deal with the obstacles that will surely impede us alone the way.
This week saw the passing of Stephen R. Covey, who advocated principles (habits) that help us be effective in our lives and build our character. Included in his book entitled, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," these are:
- Habit 1: Be proactive. This habit basically told us to take charge of our lives, do something about it and take personal responsibility for the outcomes.
- Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind. Here Covey taught us to set goals based on our values and what end result we want.
- Habit 3: Put first things first. This taught us to set priorities and act on our goals.
- Habit 4: Think win-win. This habit taught us to value and respect others and to always work toward a resolution that allows both parties to win.
- Habit 5: Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Covey taught us to create an atmosphere of caring, respect and positive thinking and to allow ourselves to be influenced by others in positive and productive ways.
- Habit 6: Synergize. This habit helped us apply in our work the already popular principle that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. and that teamwork is more powerful than working alone. Inherent in this habit is the principle that we can and should model inspirational and supportive leadership.
- Habit 7: Sharpen the saw. Here, Covey taught us to renew our physical, spiritual and mental health along our way.
Covey got it right and he lived what he espoused. He successfully used the habits he taught in his own life and career. He will be missed, but his influence will forever be a part of discussions about effective leadership principles and being highly effective in our lives.
One of Covey's most famous quotes is, "But until a person can say deeply and honestly, 'I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,' that person cannot say, 'I choose otherwise.' "
Thank you, Mr. Covey.
Ron Campbell has worked extensively in the job preparation and job search industry. He can be reached at 801-386-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.