We often want to know what is the one book that changed us or made the most impact in our lives. I believe that there are several books that are classic books that we need to read and re-read and then let the new information sink in. One of the books that I listen and read again and again is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It’s a classic book in the personal development genre, it’s a book that we need to read and remind ourselves of regularly.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey is a new classic book for me. It made me realize that I make so many mistakes and still have a lot of work ahead. Sometimes I think I’m getting closer, but in reality it’s not true. I have a lot of work to do.
This book needs to be re-read and I need to listen to it religiously on Audible as well. The lessons I learned are immeasurable, I started to think outside in rather than inside out. I see myself in a mirror from a different perspective.
Blame. The first lesson I learned is that I blame on a subconscious level other people and not myself. Stephen says: “Whenever you find a problem, you will usually find the finger-pointing blame. Society is addicted to playing the victim.” It’s so easy to blame other people, it’s in songs we listen to, it’s on TV, it’s everywhere.
Recently I heard a song on Spotify that had the following phrase: “Look what you made me do.” The music artist is saying that she is not responsible for the actions she took, somebody else made her do that.
It’s a fake story that she told herself to feel good about herself. Every day we tell stories to ourselves to feel good about ourselves.
The majority of solutions we have are quick fixes with social Band-Aids and aspiring that addressed acute problems and sometimes even appeared to solve them temporarily but left underlying chronic problems untouched to fester and resurface time and again.
We all know that we are all different, we all “know” that people come from different backgrounds. Why don’t we have more empathy towards one another? Well it looks like we don’t really understand the other person. Two people can see the same thing, disagree, and yet both be right. It’s not logical; it’s psychological.
We see the world not as it is, but as we are – or as we are conditioned to see it. When we open our mouths to describe what we see, we in effect describing ourselves, our perceptions, our paradigms.
The more aware we are of our basic paradigms, maps, or assumptions, and the extent to which we have been influenced by our experiences, the more we can take responsibility for those paradigms, examine them, test them against reality, listen to others and be open to their perceptions, thereby getting a larger picture and far more objective view.
The way we see the problem is the problem.
There are two ways to look at a problem; the inside out approach and outside in approach. The majority of us focus on outside in. This is huge for me; I was super outside-in approach on everything. I never went inside out until last year. Today I understand more I’m more aware of.
There is a huge difference between knowing and now knowing. We all know what we should be doing…but we don’t do the things we should be doing.
Knowledge is the theoretical paradigm, the what to do and the why. Skills are the how to do. And the desire is the motivation, the want to do. In order to make something a habit in our lives, we have to have all three.
But knowing I need to listen and knowing how to listen is not enough. Unless I want to listen, unless I have the desire, it won’t be a habit in my life. This was new for me; I thought that I was listening to people, but it’s not true; we listen but we already know what we want the answer to be. This is not listening.
When I talk with people today I train myself to listen to every word and to try to understand what they really mean.
I realized that I had an independent personality and I thought that it was great. It was a huge mistake; I need to obliterate the word independence. There are three types of people; Dependent, independent and inter-dependent.
Dependent on others. On the maturity continuum, dependence is you-you take care of me; you come through for me; you didn’t come through; I blame you for the results.
Independence is the I-I can do it; I am responsible, I am self-reliant; I can choose.
Inter-dependent is the we-we can do it; we can cooperate; we can combine our talents and abilities and create something greater together.
Dependent people need others to get what they want.
We need to start learning to become inter-dependent people so we can all win. This is a process that we need to learn, become more self-aware of ourselves. We are all good at pointing fingers at others, but what about pointing fingers at ourselves?
Did you know that the most intelligent animals are not self-aware? They can’t change the programming because they are not aware of it. We humans can write new programmes! We just need to ‘restart’ our software and write new programmes by reading books and learning every day.
The other valuable lesson I learned is that in some situations I was reactive and not proactive. When I park my car in public places I usually don’t think about paying the ticket until I come back. Recently I started thinking proactive. I take some coins from my car as soon as I arrive to pay for the ticket later.
I was dazzled with the idea later because I saw that slowly slowly I’m becoming more proactive and not reactive.
Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions.
The word; responsibility; “response-ability”- the ability to choose your response. Highly proactive people recognize that responsibility. They do not blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on a feeling.
Reactive. Reactive people are often affected by their physical environment. If the weather is good, they feel good. If it isn’t, it affects their attitude and their performance. Proactive people can carry their own weather with them
In developing our own self-awareness many of us discover ineffective scripts, deeply embedded habits that are totally unworthy of us, totally incongruent with the things we really value in life.
I can go on and on about the book, I truly suggest you get yourself a copy and start reading it asap. It’s worth your time and investment. It’s only £8,99 and has the potential to change your life for the better.