Inside-Out


Have you ever heard about this book: “The 7 habits of Highly Effective People”? It’s a book written by STEPHEN R. COVEY.

To summarize: “Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty and human dignity, principles that give us the security to adapt to change, and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.”

I would like to share some of his interesting thoughts that, I hope, will speak to you too!

“Each of us has many maps in our head, which can be divided into two main categories: maps of the way things are, or realities, and maps of the way things should be, or values. We interpret everything through these mental maps. We seldom question their accuracy; we’re usually even unaware that we have them. We simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are or the way they should be.” (Page 24)

“I remember a mini paradigm shift I experienced one Sunday morning on a subway in New York. People were sitting quietly, some reading newspapers, some lost in thought, some resting with their eyes closed. It was a calm, peaceful scene.

 Then suddenly, a man and his children entered the subway car. The children were so loud and rambunctious that instantly the whole climate changed. The man sat down next to me and closed his eyes, apparently oblivious to the situation. The children were yelling back and forth, throwing things, even grabbing people’s papers. It was very disturbing. And yet, the man sitting next to me did nothing.

It was difficult not to feel irritated. (….) It was easy to see that everyone else on the subway felt irritated too. (…) I turned to him and said, Sir, your children are really disturbing a lot of people. I wonder if you couldn’t control them a little more?

The man lifted his gaze as if to come to a consciousness of the situation for the first time and said softly: Oh you’re right. (…) we just came from the hospital where their mother died about an hour ago. I don’t know what to think, and I guess they don’t know what to handle it either.

Can you imagine what I felt at that moment? My paradigm shifted. Suddenly, I saw things differently, and because I saw things differently, I thought differently, I felt differently, I behaved differently. My irritation vanished. I didn’t have to worry about controlling my attitude or my behavior; my heart was filled with the man’s pain. Feelings of sympathy and compassion flowed freely.  (…) Everything changed in an instant!

(…) We could spend weeks, months, even years laboring with the Personality Ethic trying to change our attitudes and behaviors and not even begin to approach the phenomenon of change that occurs spontaneously when we see things differently.”

Stephen R. Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Page 30-31
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