Everyone’s definition of being successful is different. At the very least, I think we can all agree that not drinking or taking any drugs can be viewed as a success for all of us today! It is my firm belief that we will not be able to be completely successful while in active addiction. With that being said, I am sure there are other things that you believe might make you a success. To help you achieve those things, I thought I might share some of the valuable insight I obtained when I read the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.
To begin the book, Covey explains that to change our behavior, we need to learn to change our perceptions. To gain a better grasp on this concept, he ended up studying over 200 years of literature based on the idea of how people obtained success over the years. What he found was that earlier in history, people’s success was based on what he calls “character ethic.” Character ethic is founded on characteristics like integrity, humility, simplicity, fairness, modesty, love, courage, justice, and the “Golden Rule.”
Beginning in about 1920, however, Covey found that people started to base success on what he calls “personality ethic.” Personality ethic is founded on characteristics like personality, image, attitude, and behavior. Covey explains that people who operate under the personality ethic are looking for quick fixes and short-term solutions. He goes on to explain that this is not the solution to success and that to be successful, individuals need to be willing to undergo paradigm shifts. By doing this, they will be making fundamental changes, not just surface-level modifications obtained from the quick fixes.
It was an amazing read, and I would encourage anyone to read it if they get the opportunity. In the meantime, I will utilize our next seven blog posts to focus on each one of the highly effective habits Covey introduces to us! Make sure to keep an eye out for them as they are published! Today you can be successful!
(Photo by Joshua Earle)