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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Don't Buy Into That Stuff You Hear About Gravity - The 7 Habits - Principles

We continue our journey through The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  I hope you've been inspired to dust off your copy of the book.  We will be releasing an anniversary copy of The 7 Habits for the 25th anniversary next year.  The new forward is written by Jim Collins.  We at FranklinCovey, are honored to have such a well respected and influential man participate in our celebration with you.

Last post we covered paradigms, the way you see the world.  Today we look at principles.  There are so many things we read today and I often wonder if I should believe any or all of it.  The media rarely wants to just cover the facts, they want to influence how you feel.  It seems nearly impossible to know what's real and what isn't.  Except when it comes to principles.

A principle is a natural law.  It governs no matter who writes about it, no matter how much you believe it when you read it, even if the government tells you it's not real.  It just is.   Gravity is a principle.  If you were told as a small child that gravity was just something made up by the government to convince you not to jump off of buildings and you took on this paradigm, what would happen if you jumped off a building?  Yes, you'd still fall to the ground.  How's that for a paradigm shift.  Gravity is a natural law.  It governs in any state, any country, any decade.  It just is.

There are other natural laws.  The law of thermodynamics, this from the online free dictionary:
law of thermodynamics

1. (Physics / General Physics) any of three principles governing the relationships between different forms of energy. The first law of thermodynamics (law of conservation of energy) states that the change in the internal energy of a system is equal to the sum of the heat added to the system and the work done on it. The second law of thermodynamics states that heat cannot be transferred from a colder to a hotter body within a system without net changes occurring in other bodies within that system; in any irreversible process, entropy always increases. The third law of thermodynamics (Nernst heat theorem) states that it is impossible to reduce the temperature of a system to absolute zero in a finite number of steps. 
 There is the Law of Diminishing Returns, Law of Effect, Newtons Laws of Motion, I could keep going but I have to keep doing Google Searches because we've reached the end of my science knowledge. Natural laws, no matter what you believe about them, they are truth.

There are also natural laws of human effectiveness.  Each of the 7 Habits is based on a natural law of human effectiveness.  Dr. Covey didn't just get his smart friends in a room and brain storm what they thought the 7 Habits should be.  In every single talk I ever saw Stephen do, he always made the point very clear, "I didn't create these habits."   What Stephen did was do the hard work and the research to bring these natural laws to us in a user friendly format that we could follow.  Face it, we wouldn't have gone to that trouble.  Right?

So here's the big point, the grand plan, the way to make this work for you.....

(insert drum roll)

If you want to realize true effectiveness, align your paradigms with natural laws of human effectiveness.  

Page 36:
We know and accept this fact or principle of process in the area of physical things, but to understand it in the emotional areas, in human relations, and even in the area of personal character is less common and more difficult.  And even if we understand it, to accept it and to live in harmony with it are even less common and more difficult.  Consequently, we sometimes look for a shortcut, expecting to be able to skip some of these vital steps in order to save time and effort and still reap the desired results.

There are lots of books about the shortcuts and those don't stand the test of time.  In the words of another Dr., "How's that working for ya?" as Dr. Phil would say.

This means you will have to do the important but sometimes difficult work  to challenge old beliefs and paradigms that you may have held for many years, and maybe things that you thought to be true but are no longer serving you well.  Be willing and able to let go of those old paradigms.  This also means that The 7 Habits is not a quick and easy fix.  It's a life long journey to effectiveness.  As your life changes, your paradigms change and sometimes you have to revisit The 7 Habits to see how you're lining up.  That's why this book has endured with great success for 25 years.

Just yesterday someone said to me, "Do you think the 7 Habits are still relevant?"  These habits are more important than ever before.  In this time of mis-trust, and in this fast paced world, we desperately need to revisit the natural laws and work on ourselves and our relationships.  And we need to do it for ourselves, not wait for someone else to fix things. 

If we think the problem is out there, our very thinking is the problem.  

Dr. Stephen R. Covey.

Next up in our journey ......... habits.   Be thinking about those that are serving you well and those that aren't serving you so well.

It would be great if you'd post your experience with The 7 Habits in the comments!  We can learn from each other.  Stephen would've liked that.  He loved a rich discussion.

In this TED talk Dan Cobley shows the connection between physics and marketing