Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Catholic Defender: The Seven Habits

Recently, I've been looking at the concepts of Stephen R Covey, who wrote a book entitled, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People".

Mr. Covey compartmentizes these "seven habits" into three areas.

The first three concern independance or self-Mastery, the second three concerns interdependance, working with others, and the last habit relates to "self rejuvenation.

So the seven habits according to Mr. Covey are:

Independence or Self Mastery

1. Be Proactive

2. Begin with the End in Mind

3. Put First Things First

Interdependence, working with others

4. Think Win-Win

5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

6. Synergize


7. Sharpen the Saw

( Be Proactive) Through these "effective" seven habits, from the first grouping, "Independence" people seek to take initiative in life looking at their decisions made. To take responsibility for those choices and consequences good or bad.

(Begin with the End in Mind) To take self inventory, to rediscover your core values and goals. What kind of crowd did you hold closely around you. Envision a new direction to learn from past roles and goals and relationships in life.

(Put First Things First) To plan and execute your weekly tasks based on importance. Evaluate your efforts based on your values, goals, the roles you have held and the relationships you have known.

(Think Win-Win) Develop solutions or agreements among your relationships, your organization as you value and respect others. A strong leader will develop a winning positive attitude.

(Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood) Grow in the art of listening. Be open to listen to others in your organization creating an atmosphere of respect especially in the area of problem solving.

(Synergize) To take the strengths of your team and work to achieve goals as a team effort. To appreciate the contribution of others, to encourage and foster participation from everyone in the group. To lead by example.

(Sharpen the Saw) Renew your committments to your goals and relationships, take your energy and create a vision to improve your long term vision establishing an effective lifestyle.

This is Stephen Covey's basic outline and I wanted to take a closer look to see if I can apply this in the world of our holy Faith. Obviously, I can certainly group certain areas of our teachings to compare with the importance of Mr. Covey's seven habits.

Be Proactive: Take initiative in discovering what the Catholic Church really is. Many people oppose it because of what they think it is. Take responsibility for your choices. I had abandoned the Catholic Faith several years ago and I do not blame the Church nor my parents because of my past mistakes. I blame myself for my past mistakes. I am thankful for His mercy and forgiveness.

Begin with the End in Mind: Our true north goal should be the ultimate goal of salvation. To recognize this time in life as but a pilgrimage as this is fleeting, temporary. To rediscover the importance of your relationship with God, with your family, friends. To develop those values centered on the Gospel, "faith, hope, and love (charity).

Put First Things First: To plan and execute faithfulness during the week, first going to Mass, preparing to go to Mass by reading the scriptures for Sunday, prayer, devotions such as the rosary. The family that prays together stays together. It's important to lead your family on the road to faith in the practice of it. This will enrich your other aspects of life in your work relationships, and your play as well.

Think Win-Win: Seek that unity in the family that fosters peace and love in valuing each member of the family. This will help give you a foundation in your personal relationships and hopefully keep you from exposing yourself to sin. Keep a positive outlook, keeping your commitment to Christ as a foundation. If you see Christ in others, maybe you would respect them more.

Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood: I can't help thinking that Stephen Covey had to have known about St.Francis! This one is St. Francis! To listen to God's word, and act upon what you know. To be humble in your love of God and your family. To respect and love each other living out the Commandments of God.

Synergize: Combine the strengths of everyone and value everyone. To encourage them to grow in their strengths and work on their weaknesses. If they have an interest in music, nurture that interest, especially where they can give their talents back to God in helping others. To lead by example. How can you develop your children's love for going to Mass if you yourself do not go? How can your children learn to pray if you do not pray?

Sharpen the Saw: To celebrate your faith in a living relationship with God. To renew your desire to know God, love God, and serve God! To let your life shine before all so that by your lifestyle, you can set an example for yourself and for all that will set a person on a journey greater than oneself. It is in giving that the opportunity of greatness can be given to those who serve.

This was my quiet reflection this morning and I hope that through this you might benefit a value from it. God bless you all this day.

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