Thursday, June 23, 2011

The 7th Habit

I was most taken by the 7th habit. It was about principles of balanced self-renewal. I felt that the other six habits really could not be effectively carried out with consistency if the 7th was not mastered.

Makovsky's Leadership Management Committee was in the throes of discussing The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the classic by Stephen Covey, when I realized this.

Why do I feel so strongly about the 7th habit?

Because I believe that self-nourishment -- keeping your mental, physical, spiritual and emotional requirements fulfilled -- enables you to be happier and more content. Then you can be more enthusiastically proactive, more clearly determine what the right things are to put first and more successfully negotiate a win-win position, for example, because your body and your mind are alert and in sync. Thus, you can be more effective at your job.

The physical component means paying attention every week to the exercise and nutrition that contribute to good health. The result if you do this? High levels of energy -- the get-up-and-go that one needs to be successful. Nourishing the mind through reading, writing and other mental stimulation keeps one mentally fit. The emotional element engages your empathy, so that doing charitable work and helping others brings self-satisfaction which often provides a warm glow. The spiritual dimension is your commitment to a value system -- meaning you have one -- which is an important pillar in your life.

Those are my reflections on the 7th habit, as Covey describes it. All of the attributes described in it, if sustained, provide the elixir of life. Apply the attributes consistently and I know you will get the results I describe.

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