Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least. - GOETHE
All these weeks we spent time on the Foundation Principles, Habit one and Habit two and now we move towards the 3rd Habit in detail. So let's look at this important habit this week onwards…
Will you take a moment and write down a short answer to the following two questions? Your answers will be important to you as you begin work on Habit 3.
Question 1 : What one thing would you do (you aren't doing now) that if you did on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in your personal life?
Question 2 : What one thing in your business or professional life would bring similar results?
We'll come back to these answers later. But first, let's put Habit 3 in perspective
Habit 3 is the personal fruit, the practical fulfillment of Habits 1 and 2.
Habit 1 says, "You're the creator. You are in charge." It's based on the four unique human endowments of imagination, conscience, independent will, and, particularly, self-awareness. It empowers you to say, "That's an unhealthy programme I've been given from my childhood, from my social mirror. I don't like that ineffective script. I can change".
Habit 2 is the first or mental creation. It's based on imagination - the ability to envision, to see the potential, to create with our minds what we cannot at present see with our eyes; and conscience - the ability to detect our own uniqueness and the personal, moral, and ethical guidelines within which we can most happily fulfil it. It's the deep contact with our basic paradigms and values and the vision of what we can become.
Habit 3, then, is the second creation, the physical creation. It's the fulfillment, the actualization, the natural emergence of Habits 1 and 2. It's the exercise of independent will toward becoming principle-centered. It's the day-in, day-out, moment-by-moment doing it.
Habits 1 and 2 are absolutely essential and prerequisite to Habit 3. You can't become principle-centered without first being aware of and developing your own proactive nature. You can't become principle-centered without first being aware of your paradigms and understanding how to shift them and align them with principles. You can't become principle-centered without a vision of and a focus on the unique contribution that is yours to make.
But with that foundation, you can become principle-centered, day-in and day-out, moment-by-moment, by living Habit 3 - by practising effective self-management.
Management, remember, is clearly different from leadership. Leadership is primarily a high-powered, right brain activity. It's more of an art; it's based on a philosophy. You have to ask the ultimate questions of life when you're dealing with personal leadership issues.
But once you have dealt with those issues and resolved them, you then have to manage yourself effectively to create a life congruent with your answers. The ability to manage well doesn't make much difference if you're not even in the "right jungle." But if you are in the right jungle, it makes all the difference. In fact, the ability to manage well determines the quality and even the existence of the second creation. Management is the breaking down, the analysis, the sequencing, the specific application, the time-bound left-brain aspect of effective self-government. My own maxim of personal effectiveness is this: Manage from the left; lead from the right.
Habit 3 is the habit where we need to develop the integrity to act on our priorities which were identified in Habit one and two. This is more of an execution habit. We will look at more "Put First Things First in the weeks to come". Until next week you have something really good to think about and most importantly find the answers to the two questions posed at the beginning of this article. Have a great week….