Top positive review
Must read for future generations. Encyclopedia of profound knowledge.
Reviewed in the United States on August 30, 2018
Change is hard. How can I change? I suggest two practices for making changes in your life. The first is to follow your conscience. I speak a lot about the idea that between stimulus (what happens to us) and response (what we do about it) is a space to choose, and what we do with that space ultimately determines our growth and happiness. In this space lie the four human endowments of conscience, imagination, self-awareness, and independent will. Of the four, conscience is the governing one. Often, when we are not at peace in our lives, it is because we are living lives in violation of our conscience and deep down we know it. We can tap into conscience simply by asking ourselves questions and pausing to “hear” the answer. For example, try asking yourself the following questions: What is the most important thing I need to start doing in my personal life that would have the greatest positive impact? Think deeply. What comes to mind? Now, ask yourself another question: What is the most important thing that I need to start doing in my professional life that would have the greatest positive impact? Again, pause, think, and go deep inside yourself to find the answer. If you’re like me, you’ll recognize those most important things by listening to your conscience—that voice of wisdom, self-awareness, and common sense within you. Another great question to ask yourself is: What is life now asking of me? Pause. Think carefully. You may sense that you’ve been unfocused and need to be far more careful with the way you spend your time. Or you may decide that you need to start eating better and exercising because you’re constantly tired. Or you may sense that there is a key relationship you need to repair. Whatever it is, there is great strength and power in following through with a change that is endorsed by your conscience. Without deep conviction, you won’t have the strength to follow through with your goals when the going gets tough. And conviction comes through conscience. We all have three different lives: a public life, a private life, and an inner life. Our public life is what others observe. Our private life is what we do when we are alone. Our inner life is that place we go to when we really want to examine our motives and our deepest desires. I highly recommend developing this inner life. This is the place where our conscience can be most instructive because while here we are in the best frame of mind to listen. A second key to change is to change your role. As I’ve always said, if you want to make incremental changes in your life, change your behaviors. But if you want to make significant change, work on your paradigms, the way in which you see and interpret the world. And the best way to change your paradigm is to change your role. You may get promoted to be a new project manager at work. You may become a new mother or a new grandfather. You may take on a new community responsibility. Suddenly your role has changed and you see the world differently and better behaviors naturally flow out of the changed perspective. Sometimes role changes are external events, such as a change in a job responsibility. But other times we can change our role just by changing our mindset or our perception of a situation. Let’s say, for example, that you are seen as a control freak at work and that you know you need to start trusting others and letting go. Well, perhaps you could see yourself differently and redefine your role from one of “supervisor” to one of “advisor.” With this change of role, this mental shift, you would start to see yourself as an advisor to your team members who are empowered to make decisions and seek your counsel when doing so instead of being the one who has to own everything and constantly follow up. I’m often asked, Which of the 7 Habits is the most important? My answer is: The most important habit is the one you are having the most difficult time living. Use your endowments of self-awareness and conscience to help you sense which habit you may need to focus on. Often the best way to change is to pick the one thing, the single habit, and to make small commitments to yourself related to that habit and keep them. Little by little your discipline and self-confidence will increase.