The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

When reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey, I found myself mostly comparing it to The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. The front matter had many positive reviews, but none were left by experts, as seen with Rhonda Byrne’s self-help book. What stood out to me the most was seeing well-known figures like Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps and U.S. Senator Mitt Romney leaving a review (Covey 2-4). I believe this best shows how the author, Stephen R. Covey, uses ethos to appeal to the audience. If the reader recognizes that the person leaving a review is successful and famous, they’ll want to see how this book has helped them.

Another similarity with The Secret is when asked by Jim Collins how he [Covey] came up with the ideas in the book, he said he didn’t. Covey’s principles are “natural laws” that had been around long before him. All he did was put them together. “He did not seek credit for the principles; he sought to teach the principles, to make them accessible. He saw creating the 7 Habits not primarily as a means to his own success, but as an act of service” (Collins 29). In her own book, Byrne points out that other individuals have known the secret and withheld it for years, but that she’s the one who will share this simple secret with everyone else. Covey just like Byrne, attributes the knowledge everyone will have access to to himself. They both try to point out to the readers that these aren’t new ideas and so you should take their word for it.

The 7 habits that Covey discusses in the book are:

  • Habit 1: Be Proactive 
  • Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
  • Habit 3: Put First Things First
  • Habit 4: Think Win/Win
  • Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
  • Habit 6: Synergize
  • Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Throughout the rest of the book you see many examples/stories, some being the author’s own experiences. As Jim Collins states, “he made the ideas even more accessible by using personal life-struggles and stories- raising children, building a marriage, dealing with friends…” (30-31). Here the author is using pathos to seem more relatable to the reader.

Of the three self-help texts we’ve read I think Samuel Smiles had the best advice of daily application and perseverance. When taking the time to understand it, his message is clear. Through the examples of all the failures of now well-known individuals, we come to understand that things don’t come so easy to many people. He also advises us to have the right models to look up to. Stephen R. Covey has a strong emphasis of building character in this text but the ideas were repetitive throughout. The book could’ve been a lot shorter for what he was trying to say. And lastly, Byrne’s text is all about the law of attraction. To her, if you want something, you need to have predominant thoughts about it, visualize and feel it, and you can’t have any feelings of doubt.  Putting out negative thoughts only attracts more of it. That text was the most unrealistic.

 

Self Help Critiques (Mindfulness)

Mindfulness is a concept I have heard of several times as well as a common theme throughout our study of Self Help Literature. Mindfulness seems like a concept that can be usefully applied and used but also through the readings of self help texts and this weeks article reading, I can tell it can also be a loaded concept with many people goal is to profit off of it. I really like how all three articles addressed all the positive of the mindfulness concept but also addressed all the inflation and corruption within the concept of mindfulness and the self help industry. It is intriguing at first glance how each of the titles of the articles are controversial, “The Mindful Revolution”, “The Mindful Conspiracy”, and “The Problem of Mindfulness”.

“The Mindful Revolution” by Kate Pickert had a more positive learning approach to mindfulness. Kate Pickert takes us through a timeline of progress and realization of the concept of mindfulness. On her journey Pickert mentions how adapting to mindfulness is fully grasping the concept and allowing yourself to almost rewire your brain. This is such a revolution because so many in our day and age are not comfortable with internal change which is ironic because our world is changing with technology and advancements every single day. It seems as the world gets more and more advanced our internal selves retract and we almost have become like robots that aren’t in tune with what is around us.  Through Pickert’s learning of mindfulness she came out with new additions to her daily life. She is now more aware of digital time and has taken approaches to limit her time digitally and embrace what is around her. This article was definitely the least controversial of the three articles.

“The Mindful Conspiracy” by Ronald Purser was definitely my favorite out of the three articles. I likes how Purser addressed the controversy within the Self help community as well as with the mindfulness concept. He addresses that mindfulness within itself isn’t a bad concept it the people who have taken this concept and inflated it to fulfill their pockets. He mentions many famous figures who have partake in the self help industry. Purser gives a more realistic approach to mindfulness and address the concept without all the “fluff” that many self help texts and individuals use. I really liked how he concluded his article he says “Mindfulness isn’t cruel in and of itself. It’s only cruel when fetishised and attached to inflated promises. It is then, as Berlant points out, that “the object that draws your attachment actively impedes the aim that brought you to it initially”. The cruelty lies in supporting the status quo while using the language of transformation. This is how neoliberal mindfulness promotes an individualistic vision of human flourishing, enticing us to accept things as they are, mindfully enduring the ravages of capitalism.”

“The Problem of Mindfulness” by Sahanika Ratnayake gives us and insight from an insider almost. Sahanika Ratnayake was raised as a Buddhist, many self help concepts stem form Buddhism and mindfulness also has roots that come from Buddhism. Ratnayake take us through her studies of Western beliefs compared to Buddhism. Buddhist takes on self care and mindfulness and the western adaptation dont always match up. Ratnayake takes a depper look. into the concept of mindfulness are interrogates its true usefulness. She comes to find that to her mindfulness has limits and can not be used in every single situation. “The contrasting tendency in mindfulness to bracket context not only cramps self-understanding. It also renders our mental challenges dangerously apolitical. In spite of a growing literature probing the root causes of mental-health issues, policymakers tend to rely on low-cost, supposedly all-encompassing solutions for a broad base of clients. The focus tends to be solely on the contents of an individual’s mind and the alleviation of their distress, rather than on interrogating the deeper socioeconomic and political conditions that give rise to the distress in the first place.” I really like this part of the article because she really dives deeps within the flaws of mindfulness and concludes that it isn’t the solution for everything and it puts people within a bracket where as many people come from different backgrounds.

Ratanyake concludes in a gracious way while still being real. She says “I still dabble in mindfulness, but these days I tend to draw on it sparingly. I might do a mindfulness meditation when I’ve had a difficult day at work, or if I’m having trouble sleeping, rather than keeping up a regular practice. With its promises of assisting everyone with anything and everything, the mistake of the mindfulness movement is to present its impersonal mode of awareness as a superior or universally useful one. Its roots in the Buddhist doctrine of anattā mean that it sidelines a certain kind of deep, deliberative reflection that’s required for unpicking which of our thoughts and emotions are reflective of ourselves, which are responses to the environment, and – the most difficult question of all – what we should be doing about it.”

I totally agree with her, mindfulness should be used in situations where it help aid in a solution but it can be prescribed as the only solution. Many people have different backgrounds, health issues, and lives that one concept cant be a solution for the masses.

All in all I enjoyed reading a different side to Self Help texts. When reading different self help texts many thoughts and criticisms so its nice seeing responses to the Self Help Industry.

Ok The power of now by Eckhart Tolle was the most interesting self help book I’ve ever read. I was reading classmates responses to this book and someone said this book was like a bible. I agree with that person because in the beginning Tolle mentions god a lot and also by the title “The Power of Now, A guide to spiritual Enlightenment”. In the introduction of this book Tolle explains his experiences that leads to how he wrote this book. He also talks about his past experience with continuous anxiety of suicidal depression. A quote he says catches my eyes. He says,” I heard the words “revisit nothing” as if spoken inside my chest. I could feel myself being sucked into a void”. This quote shows that he simply feels ‘nothing’. He is empty and mindless to everything around him. I can connect to this quote because sometimes I feel a empty void. When my grandmother passed I felt a empty void, like something was missing. It was like a big gap missing from my life that needed to be filled in.
In chapter one the author is saying it that if you allow your ego to take over then you will have more pain. Two quotes caught my attention because I can really relate to them. One quote is when he said,”You are unconsciously identified with it, so you don’t even know that you are it’s slave. It’s almost as if you were possessed without knowing it, and so you take the possessing entity to be yourself(Tolle,4)”. In this quote Tolle is saying that our minds got its mind of its own. Our heads are like machines who control how we behave or move. I can connect to this quote because I feel my mind is possessed sometimes. I overthink about so many different things, I even ask myself the ”what if’s?”. In class we have been meditating and that’s been helping me cope with my stress and it’s been working for me. It relaxes my brain and relieves my stress. It also clears my thoughts and I enjoy it. Another quote that interested me was when Tolle says, “You have probably come across “mad” people in the street incessantly talking or muttering to themselves. Well, that’s not much different from what you and all other “normal” people do, except that you don’t do it out loud(Tolle,17)”. In this quote Tolle is saying that people who aren’t normal talks to themselves out loud as if someone was there responding to them. But they think someone is there because they be having a whole conversation. Unlike abnormal people, us normal people just has this voice in our head that’s telling us what to do and what not to do. Sometimes when someone is talking to me my mind is saying “leave” a bunch a times like a broken record. Tolle says that we need to start listening to the voice in our head as often as we can. I feel if we do that certain things won’t turn out good because as I said before we have a mind of our own.

In chapter two Tolle introduces the concept of the emotional Pain-Body. Tolle says, “ As long as you are unable to access the power of the Now, every emotional pain you experience leaves behind a residue of pain that lives on in you. It merged with the pain from the past, which was already there, and becomes lodged in your mind and body.(Tolle,36)”.When Tolle says this he means that emotional scars we carry truly are negative energy created by our ego. I have experienced emotional aspects in my past and I can never forget about it. It’s like it’s stuck in my head forever and it can’t go away. We have to be aware of our emotional pain, while also being a watcher. If we can do that without identifying pain then we can be free. 

 

People’s Choice #6: The Power of Now

For this week’s People’s Choice, you’ll be reading one another’s blogs on the The Power of Now and choosing your favorite post. Comment here to register your vote, & don’t forget to include the name of your classmate, the link to their post, and your rationale for choosing it. Due Thursday, 3/25 by 9am. Happy reading/voting 🙂

Reading Response #6 (The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle)

The Power Of Now speaks on the issues that overthinking can cause you, and techniques on how to stop overthinking. The book starts off similar to most books in the self-help genre, by speaking about his testimony. Tolle describes battling anxiety and depression until one day he found himself loathing so much his mind basically shuts off. He explains that the journey and complete joy he felt just listening to the silence of his mind, is what The Power of Now is and how it was discovered. Tolle says the mind likes to separate people within one entity, so as humans we separate the bad qualities of ourselves as another person when really we are all one being. The author says this is due to ego and how ego only wants to keep the past alive. So the technique to start seeing yourself as one being would be to focus on the present moment that your in and listen to what the mind is thinking without judging it.

Tolle then goes on to describe the emotional pain body which is defined as accumulated pain that is a negative energy field that occupies your body and mind. So your pain-body is just a reflection of your ego. But if you accept what the present moment brings and don’t focus so much on what was and what will be, this creates an anxiety gap.

As the chapters continue Tolle continues to drill the message that only through focusing on the now and you will allow you to reach your ultimate being or your god-like state. He explains that through portals (gateways) such as surrendering and forgiving your unconscious mind or letting go of time perception can help you achieve this conscious mind. Using practices such as taking deep breaths or meditating also can help since you are taking time for yourself and to focus on yourself. Once your able to control your mind by listening to it and not worrying about anything other than the present, that is when you reach this ultimate state and also switch back and forth from using your unconscious mind, to experience pure joy and fulfillment in your conscious, silent mind.

The Power of Now By Eckhart Tolle

Firstly, I had trouble in getting the book from Amazon as quickly as possible, so I was not able to read the entire book. But from as much as I was able to read, I can say that it was very highly prepared and motivational. It reminded me of The Secret by Rhonda Bynes, but this book was more of a spiritual guidance like the Bible. When I was a little girl, I use to go to church almost every week on Sundays with my mother in Brooklyn, New York. When I had move to Trinidad to go to school, from my years of pre-teen and early teenager, I would go to church almost every week on Sundays with my great grandmother or on Saturdays with great aunt. I say this because since I was little, I have always been trying to build a connection with God and allow him to come into my life by going to church and reading spiritual things. But to be very honest, I have never succeeded or really gave it a good fighting chance. I believe that this is also because of the family and friends around me, for very few of them pray and give thanks.

The book consists of the introduction, ten chapters, notes, acknowledgements, and about the author. “Chapter 1: You Are Not Your Mind, Chapter 2: Consciousness – They Way Out of Pain, Chapter 3: Moving Deeply into the Now, Chapter 4: Mind Strategies for Avoiding the Now, Chapter 5: The State of Presence, Chapter 6: The Inner Body, Chapter 7: Portals into the Unmanifested, Chapter 8: Enlightened Relationships, Chapter 9: Beyond Happiness and Unhappiness There Is Peace, Chapter 10: The Meaning of Surrender.” By the title of these 10 chapters, I found them to be very diverse.

As I read through the introduction, it gave me a very detailed, informative, and pulling motivation on what I was going to read and feel in each chapter. “The Truth That Is Within You.” (Tolle 6) As I saw that quote, it made me wonder on if I was really about to find out the whole truth inside me. The introduction also states, “The pause symbol .S’ after certain passages is a suggestion that you may want to stop reading for a moment, become still, and feel and experience the truth of what has just been said. There may be other places in the text where you will do this naturally and spontaneously.” (Tolle 8) This showed that the book was definitely working for the ones that read it to get a true feel from what he was implementing. I also found myself, while going through the table of contents to see what each chapter was highlighting, I was really intrigued on how the book would make me feel at the end.

Reading Response #6 – The Power Of Now

Have you ever aimed a camera at a screen that’s showing what that camera sees? If you have you know that it results in that screen showing different colors, pure whiteness or just pure blackness. The main point is the screen shows basically nothing and this reminds me of Eckhart Tolle’s idea of “Watching the thinker”. He says it should result in a gap of being completely thoughtless and I found it to be true. If you try to look inside your mind and identify your thoughts, it’s the same as pointing a camera at the projector screen, and monitoring the picture. Tolle says the point of this is to disidentify with the mind and come to the realization that our mind and who we actually are, aren’t one. With this mindset comes the gift of being “conscious” and seeking joy in even the darkest moments and maintaining a natural state of peace.
The title of the book comes from this idea that the past is irrelevant and so is the future, the only thing worth focusing on, is the now. When he explains it, it makes a lot of sense. He says the past is just “the now” that has already happened while the future is not only also “the now” just upcoming, but the future is also reliant on “the now” or the present. He says that we have multiple things we worry about, but if we were to truly appreciate the now, we would realize that all of those worries would go away because they aren’t an issue as of right now.
He is using conversation between him and someone else to get his point across the same way Socrates famously used conversation to get his points across. This helped me understand because the questions almost always made sense and made me wonder what miracle was he going to pull off by answering such a good question. I can’t say I was always following along with what he was saying but there were instances where I felt he had the perfect answer, almost as if he made the question himself just so he could answer it (i’m pretty sure he did do this).
Throughout the text he is explaining what it means to be “conscious” and how to get there despite how difficult it may sound. He gives different examples of things conscious people do and one example that caught my attention was when he says “When you complain, you make yourself into a victim. When you speak out, you are in power. So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible, leave the situation or accept”(Tolle 56). This reminded me of “The 7 habits of highly effective people” by Steven Covey. The first habit is to be proactive instead of reactive, to be in control so I found that to be cool. This is discussed shortly after the quote but I find the idea of simply “accepting” no matter what happens to be very intriguing. Are there really people who can do this? Another example he makes that I found interesting was when he compared us to a lake. He says “The outer situation of your life and whatever happens there, is the surface of the lake. Sometimes calm, sometimes windy and rough, according to the cycles and seasons. Deep down, however, the lake is always undisturbed”.(Tolle 123). By saying this he’s saying that no matter what happens to us, we are always in control with how we react and able to keep ourselves still and composed, like the deep part of the like.
Overall, I really like this book the only thing I was disappointed in is when I saw we were to read an entire book I expected a book with an interesting story or at least some type of story, so when I realized it was an entire book based on some guy explaining his ideology, I was sort of let down but nonetheless, it wasn’t bad at all.

The Power of Now

This book has a variety of concepts, from love-joy   TO  death-surrender and forgiveness, but perhaps its main idea is that the present is such a little gap of time. Hence, it should be easy to live and enjoy it.  Tolle in an interview in June 2019, made a comparison between the heartbeats and the thinking; “They both happen automatically, you are not in control of your thoughts.”  The Power of Now seems to have a content that is the opposite to the Secret of Rhonda Byrne.

The statements that grabbed my attention while reading the Power of Now were:

On page 17, the author mentions the fact that “virtually everyone hears a voice” and yes, I have experienced so. I never asked anyone whether they also heard voices, because usually hearing voices has a negative connotation (being mentally sick). I am so glad that Tolle brought it up.  He says that the voice belongs to one’s conditioned mind, which is the result of one’s history and the inherited collective cultural mindset (environment influence).

On page 22, Tolle brought up the “addiction to thinking” I declare myself guilty of this. Not having something to think about actually gives me anxiety. I mean having my mind in blank gives me anxiety. It is because while the mind is blank time is still ticking off and there is a million of things to do. So, rather than putting my mind in blank, I start addressing those “million things to do” list. However, I do put my mind in blank when I turn the music up =). In page 49, Tolle makes reference to the fact that everything functions directly proportional to time. He gave the example that without time; long and short terms goals wouldn’t even make sense. He recommends using time wisely. I fully agree.

Another concept very intriguing was on page 23, the ego. Allegedly our ego is eager to talk first and that he only focus on either the past or the future. Moreover, the ego is “vulnerable and insecure. Hence it sees itself under constant threat.” page 44. I believe that the ego makes a person reactive.  Once I learnt in psychology that when someone is told something and he/she reacts by laughing (mockery), it is because her/his brain is intentionally avoiding the processing of information giving chance to the ego to react by laughing.

It was good to learn the meaning and root of the word emotion, that comes from the lati  emovere, which means “to disturb”  this certainly makes sense because emotions do distract us. Page 29.

I do agree that emotional cravings like being needy/clingy are born of the need to fulfill certain emotional holes in ourselves. And yes, that any emotion or feeling  can turn from one side of the spectrum to the other (“negative and positive polarities are faces of the same coin”) E.g., passing from pleasure to pain in a relationship as indicate on page 32. Then on page 148, Tolle complement the definition of polarity, by saying that  it is not possible to have only one side of the coin. I personally think that it is easier to recognize the bad side than the good side, that’s probably why people pick faster on something bad that one does and easily ignore all the good deed one did.

On page 46, Tolle indicates that “the secret to life is to “die before you die”.” This is like a conundrum, and I thought it meant that we should live everyday as if it were the last therefore, we will be ready when death do come to us. But Tolle explained on page 196 that meditating deeply about the mortality of our physical forms is what is called “die before you die.”

On page 64, I concur with Tolle “all problems are illusion of the mind” Most people drown themselves in a glass of water. On page 74, Toller points out that in dealing with life challenges; a conscious person is likely to become more conscious and successfully resolve the challenge. Sadly, a lot of people do not get to this level, they are stuck fighting their own self (drowning in the glass of water).

Each of us have a “purpose/mission”, pages 88 and 202  “Everybody we cross paths with will be affected either negatively or positively by our presence.”

On page 152, Tolle brings up an opinion that I will call controversial, Nevertheless, I fully support it “you are using something or somebody to cover up your pain.”  I find this statement to be true I always thought about it, but I didn’t dare to say because it sounds mean (you never know how someone is going to take it regardless that you carefully chose your words).

Furthermore, in the topic of pain, Tolle says: “we are trying to escape from the present, because we are actually trying to escape our pain.”  We try to escape our present because we hope that there is some sort of salvation in the future. By thinking about the future, we may not be fully enjoying the little gap of time called “the present”  Page 153.

 

I fully disagree with what the author says on page 172, “ we as individuals are not complete, we are one-half of the whole.”  I find this statement objectionable.  It almost made me stop reading the book. I agree that some people are perhaps not even the half of what a decent human is supposed to be. But at the highest of our  abilities. I believe we each are a whole. And when it comes to man and woman being in a relationship, I prefer to say that each of them is a whole, because saying that we are a half put us in a mindset that we can never be fully happy by ourselves, because allegedly we individually are incomplete (a half).

On page 174, Tolle wrote “if you cannot be at ease with yourself when you are alone, then such unease will reappear some way or another when you are in a relationship, and you will likely hold your partner responsible for it.” This is so true. Indeed, many of the reasons why couples fight is because they each as individuals have issues of their own and just because they are in a relationship, they sort of automatically blame on one another for it.

Failure, loss, pain illness, had been greatest teachers for some people. Page 177. This works on people who already have kindness/empathy/humbleness in their heart, because for people who do not have kindness/empathy/humbleness in their hearts,  failure, loss, pain illness, will trigger their worst selves (revenge/violence/apathy). These 2 different outcomes are an example of the 2 sides of the same coin. You can not separate them and unfortunately every and absolutely everything has at least 2 sides (DUAL NATURE) and consequently at least 2 different outcomes.  Moreover, as said on page 186, even happiness comes with unhappiness. Everything  has an inseparable opposite [Tolle quoted this from  the Buddha].

On page 194, he quoted something that Jesus said: “turn the other cheek.”  Tolle called this phrase an “enlightenment teacher”. I agree because this phrase is meant to teach humbleness. Of course, most people living nowadays do not think this way (they did not get the memo). Because they do all the opposite when being provoked/attacked, these people are are so quick to reply (anger issues) without realizing that replying makes the aggressor more furious, and the situations worsens ending many times in fatalities.  I know that certain situations call for self-defense but most of the time is just anger issues that make  people react so quick and poorly. It would be better for these people to practice what Tolle calls, the “actionless activity (page 215).  Doing nothing will likely bring better outcomes than reacting angrily . Indeed, many people ruin their lives because they reacted so quickly without thinking and caused harm to others.  Purportedly “actionless activity “ was regarded as the highest achievements or virtues at some point of history in China (page 215).

Only those who have transcended the world can bring about a better world.”  (page 201).“True change happens within not without” (page 203). I believe he is referring that changing our mindset comes first and that we should not blame our downfalls to external factors. On page 218. Tolle wrote that “we are the problem” this seems to complement the above referenced quotation  “true changes happen within.”

 

Chapter 10, the power of surrender was intriguing, because I think it is hard to find a middle point to “conform” I mean there are things that one must accept no matter what, and others we must actually push ourselves to change them.  According to Tolle “surrender is the simple wisdom of yielding to rather than opposing the flow of life.”  Page 205, by flow of life I think Tolle means the now, and to enjoy the present, it requires some degree of conformism] (to be happy with what you have now). Letting go of resistance, page 210, goes hand on hand with the motto : “sometimes holding onto something harms more than letting it go.”

 

The example of the stoic Greek philosopher, on page 220, who replied: “I knew he was not immortal.” when told that his son died is perplexing . He offered no resistance, he accepted something that cannot be changed. I find this example interesting because I always thought that occasionally crying  is a positive way of releasing the anguish. Resisting the pain is mentally toxic, one must let it out by crying.

The power to choose on page 226, explains that for a choice to happen there has to be a high degree of consciousness. And on page 228 Tolle talks about forgiveness, that true forgiveness requires compassion for you and the others and that forgiveness only happens when you really leave the past behind.

 

 

 

Power of Now Response

      The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle was a very diverse read that had, in my opinion, something for everyone. Living in the present is the focal point and dismissing complaining, suffering, negativity, and grudges. Leaving room for forgiveness, acceptance, happiness, and compassion. Tolle mentions a lot of controversial subjects such as God, relationships, and enlightenment and how it is understood on a gender level. This type of book is meant to return to. In order to understand all the messages the author is trying to convey. I do not agree with most of the messages he is sending ,but as stated before there are views for everyone to relate to.

2617-Eckhart-Tolle-Quote-The-past-has-no-power-over-the-present-moment.jpg (3840×2160) (quotefancy.com)

   Your are encouraged to dismiss the past and future to engage in the now, the present. He goes over how the brain hinders our progress and should be used in meaningful ways. “You usually don’t use it at all. It uses you. This is the disease. “(13 Tolle) The author sets the stage and justifies it by providing you with what can be seen as absurd or validated reasoning. By saying compulsive thinking is an addiction that controls you could be taken very differently depending who you are. Repetitive thinkers are also discouraged in the ideology that once a task is completed there should be no further thought. I disagree with this form of thinking. Personally I think for some it is important to look back at what you have achieved to stay motivated in your goals.

   Religious believers in my opinion would be mortified in the way he mentions God and Buddhism. He goes on to explain God and so forth is merely a mental crutch use. “The word Being explains nothing, but nor does God”(11 Tolle) More so to establish it is an empty word that helps justify our thinking and behavior. As he also mentions Buddhism’s idea of being is faulted because to the author there is nothing to establish in silence. I do not follow Buddhism perfectly, but I do agree with a lot of the base line teachings I find this way of thinking extremely insulting. To say someone’s belief is incomplete sounds egotistical which the author also mentions as an obstacle, but to me he is exhibiting the very thing he is against.

    To have freedom one must forgive, accept, and have compassion. He speaks about forgiveness in a very peculiar way as if you should fade into the background noise when you feel defensive so there is nothing to forgive because the insult passed though you and forgiving is automatic. In human nature it is almost second nature to take into account what others say to you then process them and react. Accepting comes when you limit your thinking of what can you possible change and take things as they are. If you find yourself unable to do so especially in relationships you must free yourself for such endeavors. That frame of mind seems logical to me. Why would you stay in an unhappy relationship, not to dismiss many people that do according to circumstances.

  Over all this book was a hard read for me because I disagreed with a vast majority of it’s content and found myself rereading some of the content to make sure I understood how absurd I found some of the text. I do however truly believe in some of the concepts in this book and would go back to those sections.                    

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey is a very interesting book, it has similarities to both “The Secret” and “Self Help by Samuel Smiles”. A unique approach this book has is it us of questions and blank spaces for the reader to answer. This book seems more like a reflection and survey than just a self help book. People can stop and reflect within themselves as they read which I think is a very effective approach. A similarity this book shares with “The Secret” is its many testimonies. To some testimonies may make them believe the text to be more credible but for me its off putting. I feel like the use of “names” is a way to sell people. This book deals with the authors stories and approaches which is a cool aspect. One part I really connected with was

“You might work on your attitude — you could think more positively. You still wouldn’t get to the right place, but perhaps you wouldn’t care. Your attitude would be so positive, you’d be happy wherever you were.

The point is, you’d still be lost. The fundamental problem has nothing to do with your behavior or your attitude. It has everything to do with having a wrong map.

If you have the right map of Chicago, then diligence becomes important, and when you encounter frustrating obstacles along the way, then attitude can make a real difference. But the first and most important requirement is the accuracy of the map”

This quote is a more realistic way of thinking, in “The Secret” it is said if you think positively everything will workout whereas in this text it says you can think positively but that alone won’t solve your issues you have to make sure the whole picture or the “map” is accurate first.

Overall this text was very interesting and it was nice to see how it blended the two previous self help texts we have read while also have some unique aspects.

7 Habits

I think the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, seems to be a slight contradiction of the secret because it says that: “we are not our feelings, not even our thoughts, but we are our habits.”

I find it weird that the introduction (inside out) and the foreword are a lot longer than the average, aren’t introductions supposed to be short? Lol. Nevertheless, I fully agree with what was said on page 26 “if we want to change the situation, we must first to change ourselves.” I guess it is a bad habit that many of us have.

Other wisdom nuggets that I found here were: “into the hands of every individual is given a marvelous power for good or evil” (page 30) and the quote of Elenore Roosevelt: “no one can hurt you without your consent” (page 80). It is true that anything that come into our hands we can either turn it into something good or bad.

In essence the first habit, Principles of Personal Vision, says that a proactive person does not blame the external conditions, but he/she creates her own or look for alternatives.

The example of the bite of the snake kills you faster if you go chasing the snake perfectly portrays people who react aggressively to whatever life throws at them. In other words,  if we react (violently or negatively) instead of being proactive, we are actually making the situation worse.

I understand for proactive, not just having a positive mindset but also acting upon it.

It was funny the example of the husband not loving his wife anymore on page 8,  and the author telling him to love her, love her…”because when there is no love, the proper thing to do is to create it.”

The author further explains that highly proactive people sometimes have to accept problems and learn to live with them even if he/she doesn’t like them. The reason behind this is that if we don’t accept it and continuously get angry, we are giving the “problem” control over us.