Stephen Covey: Seven Habits, Stephen Covey: 7 Habits, Stephen Covey: Seven (7) Habits

Stephen Covey, 7 Seven Habits, Stephen Covey, Seven 7 Habits, Stephen Covey, 7 Seven Habits,

Friday, September 09, 2005

7 Habits of Stephen Covey and "Personal Mission Statement"

Stephen Covey 7 Seven Habits Books: CLICK HERE

Stephen Covey and the Seven Habits philosophy (CLICK HERE for books by Stephen Covey like 7 Seven Habits) emphasises one idea that may indeed strike many as hokey or cheesy, yet, like many "socially unpopular" ideas, may well have some merit. It is Covey's idea of the Personal Mission Statement. This, as one might imagine, is a list of principles (the Seven Habits books (CLICK HERE for books by Stephen Covey like 7 Seven Habits) are very big, of course, on "detecting" principles by which to live), that seem/feel right to you as an individual, that can act as a compass or as guiding lights in those times when (a) you are planning things, or (b) you are in the thick of things and would otherwise be unable to think clearly. Ultimately it might be said that this suggestion is the foundational one that Covey makes, is the Habit that precedes all of the other 7 habits.

Covey and his seven habits approach, and in particular "habit two" which is Begin with the End in Mind, stress the building, slowly, over time, of a written list of principles which should be carried around in your "organisational tool" (agenda, blackberry, planner, in any case one should really have something!). It can be a fairly straightforward list, and in any case should embrace principles which are themselves "held as self-evident": eg, People are more important than things, things which matter the most should not be sacrificed for things which, while possibly also important, do not matter as much, remember that there are people involved, your time investments tend to reflect your priorities, relationships which are not taken care of deteriorate, money is important but is ultimately a means by which one attains what is really important, your life has a finite length and so time should be treated with respect... these are some principles which I would say should embody any Personal Mission Statement coming out of Stephen Covey's 7 habits.

Covey does not mention this, but it occurs to me that there are two kinds of principles: the logical and the "spiritual." The first are true because logic shows them to be so, eg., logically, if I decide what is most important to me, I have a greater chance (logically) of being fulfilled if I spend virtually all my time focusing on how to accomplish these things, or, having decided what is important to me, it would be "foolish" (would be a deficient logical approach) to then forget about the process of arriving at goals, and never to reflect on them again, assuming that I was definitely right when I made those decisions. Spiritual principles are not derived from logic, however, they just "are": living things are the most important entities that exist, and especially those which can feel pain; it is simply wrong to cheat. Note that there can be overlap between the logical (or pragmatic) and the spiritual: it is pragmatically stupid to destroy the air that I myself breathe in addition to it being spiritually wrong to pollute the one and only (and sacred?) earth that we have; it is morally wrong to drop bombs on people but also it is illogical if I am pragmatically concerned to preserve the lives of my own people, as shoving others usually provokes a violent reaction. I leave you to ponder these thoughts, and maybe to begin to construct one's own set of principles according to Covey's Seven Habits.

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