7 steps self-reflection
7 steps self-reflection
I want to succeed. I am not just sure what my thing is so I do many things. However, I would need to start identifying the habits that hurts and habits can help me on my journey.
I read the book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey, which is a self-help book for people who are struggling with personal effectiveness and developing their selves. I am sometimes a bit doubtful of this sort of books, but Coveys believes seems to meet; Covey believes we all have our own perception of the world and that defines how we see different things. In order to understand how to develop ourselves we need to identify our perceptions and this way we can change them
So, what are those 7 habits that highly effective people have then? They are explored more carefully in the book, but the basics are here:
- Be Proactive
- Begin with the End in Mind
- Put First Things First
- Seek first to Understand, Then to Be Understood
- Sharpen the Saw
Am I Proactive? Yes and no. I feel like complaining has been an easy habit for me to run away from responsibility and justifying certain actions for myself. I see the problem where the time consumed to complain about irrelevant happenings and coincidences can derail your thinking totally, and as Covey writes: Complaining is a less effort solution. I remember times when I just thought that this is just simply out of my hands. That has been reactive behavior, and reactive behavior feeds itself like a snowball in a slope, suddenly everything feels overwhelming and it is easy to end up in burnout. However, it is great to see how shifting my actions and energy into things I can do something about actually makes a difference. I have noticed that by changing things that are under my control can have affect how I react to those uncontrollable things.
It is a paradigm of how we see the world; same things can paralyze or empower us depending on the way we think about them. I see that here we understand first and then to be understood. Not too long ago I got frustrated because people did not just get me. Now I am wiser in that area; I spend more time on understanding other people’s opinions and arguments which helps me to adjust my arguments to be more clear. This is very important skill in working life more multicultural than ever before, ability to understand people fast and reflecting your own actions may will give you an advantage. This is about influencing people which is impossible if you don’t understand their way to see the world.
When I started to pay attention on my own way of acting I found out very quickly that there was a lot of small things that irritates me in people but that is also the way I acted. So, this is one of the most important things I realized: to understand others and to communicate better you must understand yourself first. This is the only way to improve yourself in any field, by understanding your own actions and paradigms. And as Covey says: “If we want to make relatively minor changes in our lives, we can perhaps appropriately focus on our attitudes and behaviors. But if we want to make significant, quantum change, we need to work on our basic paradigms.” I see that I have now found my way in to the threshold of changing my basic paradigms by making minor changes, but it is baby steps before big leaps. Hopefully.
This is the flow of ideas (in a nutshell) that came to me when reading this book, and I see myself coming back to this book in five years and see how do I think of it then. Now I hope that self reflection and awareness would be one of my core paradigms in the future, as I see it to be the best way to improve myself and understand others.
I want to leave you with a great thought, that appears also in the book. This thought stuck in me and I hope you will understand why: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”—Aristotle.