Intrigued by Integrity

Do you want it?  Go get it!  I’m not finished!  Still, things left to prove, and not to you! 
I didn’t leave it all out there, now I will; no matter what, I don’t care! 
After all the hard work I put in, not to try would be a sin!
  Many think I will not succeed, and to my anguish, it will lead.
  To them, I say this:  I will never quit, no matter what the obstacle, I will push through it! 
I’ve faced ambiguity before, through that, I soar! 
I thrive on people’s doubt of me, any other way I would not have it be! 
I know the odds are against me, but I don’t care, can’t you see?! 
If not, then you will, in me there lingers a destiny to fill! 
I won’t let myself down; not this time…  Just wait, victory will be mine!

(Intrigued by Integrity is a poem by Justin Heupel) (Photo by Jay Wennington)

Be Successful by Utilizing Highly Effective Habits you Need to Know! (Habit 7: : Sharpen the Saw)

Welcome to the final blog post in the series of Be Successful by Utilizing Highly Effective Habits you Need to Know! So far we have discussed the first habit (Be Proactive) , the second habit (Begin With the End in Mind), the third habit (Put First Things First), the fourth habit (Think Win-Win), the fifth habit (Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood), and the sixth habit (Synergize) introduced by Stephen Covey in his best selling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Today we will discuss the final habit, sharpen the saw!

Covey’s seventh and final habit is focused around renewal (taking time to sharpen the saw).  In this habit, Covey encourages us to devote time to renewing the five dimensions in our lives:  social, emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental.  He states that by doing this, we increase our ability to be effective in each of the other habits—by remembering to “sharpen our saws,” we are providing ourselves with the opportunity of continuous growth. 

Taking action is a crucial step in recovery.  One action we can take that will help us to remain vigilant in our recovery is taking the time to “sharpen our saws.”  There are several things we can focus on in each dimension that will improve our ability to not only remain sober but to be successful as well. 

Today you can incorporate the habits into your everyday life.  Today you can make a choice to become proactive.  Today you can do your best, to begin with, the end in mind, and put first things first.  Today you can work towards win/win solutions as well as the ability to seek first to understand and then be understood.  Today you can reach the ability to experience synergy in your relationships.  TODAY YOU CAN BE SUCCESSFUL!

(Photo by Ian Stauffer)

Be Successful by Utilizing Highly Effective Habits you Need to Know! (Habit 6: : Synergize)

Welcome to blog post number six in the series of Be Successful by Utilizing Highly Effective Habits you Need to Know! So far we have discussed the first habit (Be Proactive) , the second habit (Begin With the End in Mind), the third habit (Put First Things First), the fourth habit (Think Win-Win), and the fifth habit (Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood) introduced by Stephen Covey in his best selling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Today we will discuss habit six, synergize!

In habit number six, Covey encourages us to create synergy in relationships in order to develop new possibilities.  He says we can do this by understanding the differences in other people’s perspectives by being open and creative.  Covey believes synergism is better than compromise because it allows us to discover solutions to problems with other people when we would be much less likely to do so by ourselves.  Unlike compromise, synergism is based on valuing the differences between people.  If two people have the same opinion, one is essentially unnecessary.  When we are aware of other people’s perspectives, new opportunities present themselves, new answers to old problems arise.  By incorporating synergism into your recovery, you can open doors to new opportunities.  Opportunities that you may have never known existed.

Today you can incorporate synergism into your relationships and your recovery.  Today you can create new answers to old problems.  Today you can be successful!

(Photo by Nick Fewings)

Be Successful by Utilizing Highly Effective Habits you Need to Know! (Habit 5: : Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood)

Welcome to blog post number five in the series of Be Successful by Utilizing Highly Effective Habits you Need to Know! So far we have discussed the first habit (Be Proactive) , the second habit (Begin With the End in Mind), the third habit (Put First Things First), and the fourth habit (Think Win-Win) introduced by Stephen Covey in his best selling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Today we will discuss habit five, seek first to understand, then to be understood!

For us to increase our ability to develop win/win situations and improve our ability to interact with others, Covey introduces us to the habit of seeking first to understand, then to be understood.  He explains that we should seek to understand people and their perspectives through empathetic listening.  He goes on to explain this with an example:

Let’s say you go to an optometrist and tell him that you’ve been having trouble seeing clearly, and he takes off his glasses, hands them to you, and says, “Here, try these — they’ve been working for me for years!” You put them on, but they only make the problem worse. What are the chances you’d go back to that optometrist?

Covey believes that we are doing that very thing the optometrist does in this example when we do not seek to understand.  Essentially, we are prescribing a solution before ever diagnosing the problem.  Rather than doing this, he states we should practice empathetic listening and learn to listen with the intent to understand rather than the intent to reply.  Learning to do this effectively involves great awareness.  After all, Covey points out that communication experts estimate 60% of human communication is represented by body language, sounds represent 30 %, and words represent 10 %.  

After we have done our best to understand, it is equally important that we do our best to be understood clearly and concisely.  After an individual feels as though they were heard and understood, they will likely be more willing to understand your position.  It is at this point that a win-win situation becomes extremely attainable.  Learning to communicate effectively is an essential skill to develop in recovery.  By seeking first to understand and then be understood, we increase our ability to do so substantially. Today you can seek to understand than to be understood! Today you can communicate effectively!  Today you can be successful!

(Photo by Christin Hume)

Be Successful by Utilizing Highly Effective Habits you Need to Know! (Habit 4: Think-Win)

Welcome to blog post number four in the series of Be Successful by Utilizing Highly Effective Habits you Need to Know! So far we have discussed the first habit (Be Proactive) , the second habit (Begin With the End in Mind), and the third habit (Put First Things First) introduced by Stephen Covey in his best selling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Today we will discuss habit four, think win-win!

The next habit Covey introduces us to deals with the concept of thinking win-win.  He explains that optimal interdependent relationships are founded on win-win situations, where each party is satisfied and benefits from the interaction.  Covey goes on to explain that there are six ways in which humans tend to interact:

  1. Win-Win- Both parties’ benefit and are satisfied with the interaction.  Both parties win in this strategy of interaction. 
  2. Win-Lose- Individuals or entities use what they can in order to get what they want. Only one party benefits from the interaction.
  3. Lose-Win- Individuals are quick to give up what they want for the happiness of others.  They are willing to take the loss so that others win in situations. 
  4. Lose-Lose- This is the result when neither party is willing to compromise or give up what they want in an interaction.  In this interaction, both parties lose.
  5. Win- Individuals who utilize this interaction strategy don’t care whether the other party wins or loses.  The only thing that matters is that they get what they want in the interaction.
  6. Win-Win or No Deal- Parties that utilize this interaction strategy agree that if the interaction is not beneficial to both parties, no deal will be made. 

In interdependent relationship building, the best interaction strategy to utilize is the win-win strategy.  Although you may be happy with a win in the win or win-lose situations, the result will negatively impact your relationship with the other individual going forward.  It might be easy just to give up what you want for another person to get what they want.  This sounds nice in the short term, but if you continue to do this, you will likely become resentful, and the relationship will be negatively impacted in the long term.  Lose-lose interactions should be avoided, as well.  Instead, if you feel as though a win-win situation cannot be reached, explain this to the other party and be willing to agree to no deal.

Consideration and courage should be incorporated when integrating win-win interactions into our lives.  These types of interactions typically take both consideration and courage to be utilized correctly.  In the other types of interactions however, consideration, courage, or both are often missing. 

This habit is important to incorporate into our recovery for a variety of reasons.  As you move forward in your recovery, you will need to build strong relationships with people you can count on and trust.  In order to build these types of relationships, you will have to be willing to do the work it takes to ensure that each person is satisfied in your interactions and that they are also benefiting from your interactions.  If you are unable to build these types of relationships, it is my experience that negative relationships can be highly triggering.  Having a good support system is extremely important in recovery and thinking win-win will help you build that support!  Today you can begin to incorporate positive relationships into your life.  Today you can begin to think win-win.  Today you can be successful!

(Photo by Felix Mittermeier)