The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
By Stephen R. Covey (Part 2)
(This video is not sponsored)
It is up to you to control how you react to the world around you.
Here is a tricky question. What makes you, you?
From scientists to philosophers to regular people have thought about this age-old question for thousands of years.
Some people believe that our lives are determined by our DNA and the process of human evolution. Some blame our parents. They say that it matters who raised us and how they did it. Some people believe that our surroundings and immediate circumstances are the most important factors.
The truth of the matter is that none of these responses are good enough to answer the question. They all imply that events in our lives are determined by factors beyond our control.
On the other hand, the highly effective people make it a habit to look at the world in a very different way. They believe that even though we can't control everything, we can control ourselves, which subsequently brings us to our first habit.
One of the most distinctive qualities that sets humans apart from other animals is our ability to be self-aware. Environmental cues play a major role in shaping animal behavior. Their responses to the things they come in contact with in the real world appear almost pre-programmed. Whereas Humans, on the other hand, can pause, think, and choose how they will react.
This works because you can take charge of your own destiny by being proactive and deciding how you want to engage with the outside world. You could, for example, allow rainy weather to ruin a wonderful picnic in the park. But a better strategy would be to take control and look for the bright side of things in a negative situation. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself because of the storm, you can have fun and appreciate the time you get to spend with your friends.
This method is effective even in the most difficult of situations. Take for example, the well-known psychiatrist Viktor Frankl. He was held captive in a World War II concentration camp. His oppressors had complete power over his external environment, but he realized that he was the only one responsible for how he reacted to it. Instead of giving up hope, he spent each day imagining a world where he could tell others about how he had survived this gut-wrenching horror. Because of his brave decision, he became more determined to keep going, which later also helped him to advance in his teaching career.
You too can develop the ability to choose how you react to any kind of difficult situation. When facing a challenge in your personal or professional life, you should think carefully about what to do next. Don't give in to your first instincts and immediately react. Instead, take a step back, analyze what exactly is causing the issue, and focus on what you can do to create a positive influence.
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