The Inside Out Approach
Here’s a bit more from Stephen Covey on the The Inside Out Approach to personal and interpersonal effectiveness:
Start first with self, the inside part: with your paradigms, your character, and your motives.
The Inside Out Approach says that private victories precede public victories, that making and keeping promises to ourselves precedes making and keeping promises to others. It says that its futile to put personality ahead of character, to try to improve our relationships with others before improving ourselves. You can’t be successful with others if you haven’t paid the price of success with yourself. When I found this to be quite true in my own life, I made some changes: focusing more on honoring my agreements with myself.
Inside-out is a process- a continuing process of renewal based on the natural laws that govern human growth and progress. It’s an upward spiral of growth that leads to progressively higher forms of responsible independence and effective interdependence.
There are two ways to put ourselves in control of our lives immediately. We can make a promise and keep it. Or, we can set a goal and work to achieve it. As we make and keep commitments, we begin to establish an inner integrity that gives us the awareness of self-control and the courage and strength to accept more of the responsibility for our own lives. By making and keeping promises to ourselves and others,little by little, our honor becomes more powerful than our moods in determining our behavior.
Please see my post from 1/23/09 on Habits, Character and Success
for more on this topic.