Change Starts From Within

One of my favorite books is The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People which was written by Steven R. Covey. It was a #1 bestseller and was certainly a high impact book for me. In his book, Steven Covey presented a framework for personal effectiveness. While working on his doctorate degree in the 70’s, he reviewed over 200 years of writings on success.

One of his discoveries was that most of the writings in the last half of the 20th century attributed success to personality traits, skills, positive attitude, etc. This philosophy can be called the Personality Ethic. The writings the 150 years prior to that were more character oriented. It emphasized that success was more attributed to underlying characteristics such as integrity, courage, patience, etc. This philosophy is known as the Character Ethic.

Covey said the problem with relying on just the Personality Ethic is that unless the underlying paradigms are correct, simply changing our outward behavior is not effective. We all have paradigms and perspectives and they can have a dramatic impact on the way we perceive things.

For example, there have been many experiments I which two groups of people were shown two different drawings. One group was shown a drawing of a young, beautiful woman and the other group was shown an older, frail woman. After seeing the initial drawing, both groups were shown a more abstract drawing which contained the elements of both the young and the old woman. Almost everyone that was shown the drawing of the young woman sees the young woman and everyone that was shown the drawing of the old woman saw the old woman. Each person was convinced they had objectively evaluated the drawing.

The point of this experiment is that we see things as we are conditioned to see them, not necessarily as they are. As we understand the importance of our past conditioning, we can experience a paradigm shift in the way we see things. In order to make big changes in our life, we must work on the basic paradigms and perceptions through which we see this world.

A great example of this past conditioning for me was what I thought about network marketing. Many of my perceptions were based upon things I’ve heard or was conditioned to believe. It wasn’t until I read Robert Kiyosaki’s book, The Business School for People Who Like Helping People, that my paradigm started to change. Education or experience will change paradigms.

Because this book has had such an impact on my life, I thought I would review the Seven Habits over the next couple of weeks. The book deals with change from the inside out and personal effectiveness that is centered on principles and character. Inside out just means that the change starts from within. Are you ready for some change? Are you wanting to become more effective on the path to success?

Have an awesome day.

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