Tag Archives: Stephen Covey

Self-mastery and self-discipline

Self-mastery and self-discipline are the foundation of good relationships with others.

“You can’t have the fruits without the roots.  Private victory precedes public victory.”

Stephen Covey

p. 186 The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People


Sobriety, Recovery, Money Mastery, Self-Mastery, and Time Management

Sobriety, Recovery, Money Mastery, Self-Mastery, and Time Management


These topics are often on my mind.  For the past few years I’ve felt it was time for me to get a grip on Time Management; yet it hasn’t been simple or easy…..rather elusive in fact!  What I’ve determined is confirmed by the esteemed Stephen Covey in my dogeared copy of his book, Daily Reflections for Highly Effective People.  He says “Time management is really a misnomer- the challenge is not to manage time, but to manage ourselves.”  THAT explains why it’s been challenging!  Managing ourselves actually requires quite a lot: maturity, discipline, Will, EQ, …….

Covey goes on to say “If you are an effective manager of your self, your discipline comes from within; it’s a function of your independent will.  You are a disciple, a follower of your own deep values and their source.  And you have the will, the integrity, to subordinate your feelings <this is the really hard part for most of us!>, your impulses, and your moods to those values.  THIS is very challenging!  It requires putting your values and your goals ahead of  how you feel and what you may want in the moment (each time there arises such a moment of conflict) for the sake of what you value and what you want in the long run.  This requires Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and maturity!

Several years ago during the end of my architecture career, I had a conversation with a much older architect.  We were talking about diet and health.  He practices Dean Ornish’s eating plan and program to reverse heart disease AND he’s French.  I asked if this was a conflict for him, if he struggled with making healthy food choices rather than eating beautiful french food.  His reply has remained with me and continues to influence me.  He said : ” If I want to go to San Francisco, I don’t get on the BART train that’s going the other direction.  I don’t spend any time thinking about that other train because it won’t take me where I want to go.”  It’s that simple.  It’s just not that easy for most of us. I remember this when I struggle with my own stuff.  I have achieved something that I’ve wanted to achieve for the past 20 years: I gave up black tea, coffee and caffeinated drinks.  It’s soon going to be a year since this became effective.   I really appreciate the difference that no caffeine has made in my life!   At times, I think about that other train, but I’m able to put the value I hold in my chosen destination above the momentary experience of any of these drinks.  I guess this what people in recovery do. A certain emotional sobriety is involved.  I’m truly amazed that I’ve been able to do this every time for a year now.   This gives me great faith that I can do the same with a few other struggles.  Baby steps lead to a sudden leap.

Internal Spring Cleaning to transform your beliefs and habits

Internal Spring Cleaning to transform your beliefs and habits

Oh, how I love spring! I love the freshness, the growth in nature, the renewal after a long winter, a fresh slate, a new start,….. This weekend I worked a lot on my landscape: first pulling weeds that had grown between the cobblestones and then re-setting cobblestones and filling the cracks so weeds will not be able to grow there again. For me, this is actually much much more than just landscaping, it’s the result of internal changes that involved eliminating and replacing certain long held beliefs about myself and my life. This, in turn, resulted in taking action that supports my desire to have a certain degree of order and aesthetics in my environment because that feeds my soul and that order and beauty feels like a needed support for me to go out in the world and help others.

In the book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey says “In developing our own self-awareness many of us discover ineffective scripts, deeply embedded habits that are totally unworthy of us, totally incongruent with the things we really value in life. We are response-able to use our imagination and creativity to write new ones that are more effective, more congruent with our deepest values and with the correct principles that gives our values meaning.”

So, take a slow deep breath, maybe a few of them, and contemplate for a moment what you really value and how your actions may be incongruent with or not in support of these values. What are 3 simple changes you can begin right now to address this? Happy Weeding. When your life is weed-free, it makes space for anything to happen, including what you desire, including what you’re here to do. Start now. Pull some weeds and plant some seeds. Let me know what sprouts. Need some help identifying those old beliefs or replacing them? Contact me, I’d love to help you.

Becoming Effective

Becoming Effective

Effective people aren’t problem-minded; they’re opportunity minded. They feed opportunities and solve problems.
Stephen Covey

The Inside Out Approach

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.

Food for Thought

Here are some quotes that inspire and remind me to be on purpose:

Between stimulus and response is our greatest power- the freedom to choose.

Stephen Covey

Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re usually right.

Henry Ford

Because we are, by nature, proactive, if our lives are a function of conditioning and conditions, it is because we have, by conscious decision or by default, chosen to empower those things to control us.

Stephen Covey

Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.

Will Rogers

To freely bloom- that is my definition of success.

Gerry Spence

You can’t have the fruits without the roots.

It’s the principle of sequencing: Private Victory precedes Public Victory.

Self-Mastery and self-discipline are the foundation of good relationships with others.

Stephen Covey

Full effort is full victory

Stephen Covey

The more aware we are of our basic paradigms, maps, or assumptions, and the extent to which we have been influenced by our experience, the more we can take responsibility for those paradigms, examine them, test them against reality, listen to others and be open to their perceptions, thereby getting a larger picture and a far more objective view.

Stephen Covey

Between stimulus and response is our greatest power- the freedom to choose.

Stephen Covey

Because we are, by nature, proactive, if our lives are a function of conditioning and conditions, it is because we have, by conscious decision or by default, chosen to empower those things to control us.

Stephen Covey

We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails.

Your attitude plays a critical role in success, fulfillment of your goals or dreams, etc… You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you as well as your response; in this way, you master change, growth and yourself.