AIM 5: START NOTICING YOUR USE OF PROACTIVE VS. REACTIVE BEHAVIORS, SPECIFICALLY, LANGUAGE. KEEP A LOG OF ALL OF THE TIMES YOU SPEAK IN THE NEGATIVE TODAY. WHEN YOU CATCH YOURSELF, THINK ABOUT HOW YOU COULD HAVE REPHRASED YOUR LANGUAGE IN THE POSITIVE.
EXAMPLE: NEGATIVE LANGUAGE: “I CANT BELIEVE SHE CANCELED ON ME, NOW MY WHOLE DAY GOT MESSED UP! I’M SO FRUSTRATED! SHE PUT ME IN A BAD MOOD!”
REPHRASE IN POSITIVE: “SHE HAD TO CANCEL, NOW I HAVE A FREE HOUR, LET ME SEE WHAT I CAN CROSS OFF MY LIST. I WILL RESCHEDULE WITH HER FOR ANOTHER TIME.”
Our thought patterns are a huge indicator of what happens in our lives. I remembered hearing about a book written by Dr. Stephen Covey-The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. I remembered that he spoke about the power of positive language, so I googled him and found his website: Dr. Stephen R. Covey.
I haven’t read Dr. Covey’s book, but I thought it might be nice to experiment with some of his 7 Habits, (There are more than 7 now). I’ve decided to stick to my minimalist motto and isolate each habit as an AIM in and of itself. The catch is that I did not skip ahead to read about the 2nd habit- in this way my focus will be completely on HABIT 1.
Dr. Stephen Covey: Habit 1: BE PROACTIVE: Books – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Habit 1: Be Proactive
-Your life doesn’t just “happen.” Whether you know it or not, it is carefully designed by you. The choices are yours.
-Proactive people recognize that they are “response-able.” They don’t blame genetics, circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. They know they choose their behavior. Reactive people, are affected by their physical environment. They find external sources to blame for their behavior. If the weather is good, they feel good. If it isn’t, it affects their attitude and performance, and they blame the weather.
-External forces act as stimuli that we respond to. You have the freedom to choose your response. One of the most important things you choose is what you say. Your language is a good indicator of how you see yourself. A proactive person uses proactive language–I can, I will, I prefer, etc. A reactive person uses reactive language–I can’t, I have to, if only. Reactive people believe they are not responsible for what they say and do–they have no choice.
-Problems, challenges, and opportunities we face fall into 2 areas– Circle of Concern and Circle of Influence.
Circle of Concern:-things over which we have little or no control: the national debt, terrorism, the weather.
Circle of Influence: things we can do something about: health, children, problems at work.
Proactive people focus on the Circle of Influence.