I’m coming up to the end of my first 30 day challenge from 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and I can’t say it has been easy. For the last month I’ve tried to catch myself from simply reacting. Meaning, I’ve caught myself from taking actions against my core values. I’ve thought about how my responses align, or should align, with my values instead of appeasing others or sacrificing my self-worth.

Honestly, it’s difficult to explain in a post or even a casual conversation exactly what I’ve learned. Stephen Covey jumps from idea to idea and from conceptual thinking to personal narrative every chance he gets. It can be hard to internalize exactly what the heck he is trying to get you to see let alone what I see.

pixelated moon at mountatin range
Original image by ansimuz

I’ve persisted, in large part, due to a huge promise the book makes: “you will find your life’s goals”. I’m already thinking, that acting in accordance with your values, one would automatically be living towards those goals. Example: “I value a healthy family” = doing everything you can to make your family healthy. If they are not healthy, (screaming, fighting, arguing) then your goal would be to make them healthy.

Why is this so important? Because I’ve spent the better part of 10 years working on finding exactly the answer to “what are my life’s goals”. I know most people could care less. They are too busy reacting to every twist and turn they make for themselves or too busy simply staying alive.

That’s not me. I want to be more intentional with my time on this planet.

I’ve always wanted to wake up in the morning excited to work towards a goal and excited to come home to a wonderful support system in my family. I’m lucky enough to have found someone that shares this vision of life. We have both taken great strides to intentionally build our relationship. She has also been my audience for reflecting as much as I have on this 7 Habits book.

pixel mountains with moon
Original Art by Jetrel

The last 30 or so days have not been easy. I’ve pushed back to others that would ask more than I’m able to give. I’ve corrected others in arenas that I would normally (nervously) swallow. I have asked more from others knowing that I can’t just take on every task presented. I’ve asked more of myself.

All this to say, I’m trying to live within a character based paradigm where I live in accordance to my values. Much easier typed than done. It requires knowing what those values are and how your actions reflect those values. This means you have to be real with yourself. I’m double lucky that I’ve unwittingly have been working at this for a number of years.

I mean, what is rhetoric good for, if you can’t use it to better situate yourself with your values?

I think I’m ready to head onto chapter 2. At the end of the chapter I’ll expect some other challenge that takes me some time, but I’m trying to take the book seriously. If you get a chance, pick up a copy. If you give it a chance, it just might change your life.

I hope you enjoyed the post and I really hope that you enjoy the pixel art. I’ve been exploring my Photoshop skills lately and it makes the blog look good. Like always, I hope you found something to add to your everyday rhetoric repertoire.